About Orchestra Hall
Why raise $50 million for the renovation of Orchestra Hall when the Orchestra faces large deficits?
A renovated Orchestra Hall is part of the solution to the Orchestra’s financial issues. It offers an opportunity to attract new audiences, to reposition the Orchestra’s role in our community, to resize seating in the auditorium to match demand and to increase incremental revenue within the Hall. The donors who have generously contributed to the Orchestra’s capital building project have done so because they want to support the renovation of Orchestra Hall–understanding how critically important it is to the Minnesota Orchestra’s future. To date, $47 million dollars has been raised towards our $50 million goal—a sign of our community’s support of this project.
What’s more, our annual fundraising—which runs concurrently with the capital campaign—is on pace, thanks to donors who understand the importance of supporting our ongoing work.
Why not “re-allocate” the $47 million raised to reduce deficits instead?
The donors who have contributed to the Orchestra Hall renovation would not have contributed these funds if there weren’t a building project to support and we need to respect their intent. For example, the State of Minnesota provided $14 million (funds that we need to match) to support the renovation and these funds cannot be used for a different purpose. Similarly, many foundations and corporations have specific guidelines around capital support that our project fulfilled; this support cannot be re-allocated.
Instead of fundraising for Orchestra Hall, why not raise additional endowment funds to support your musicians?
We need to do both. Our comprehensive Building for the Future campaign allows donors the opportunity to choose which area of the organization they most wish to support and many of them have supported more than one area. The $110 million campaign has three components:
• Orchestra Hall renovation (goal: $50 million) • Endowment support (goal: $30 million) • Artistic initiatives (such as touring, recording and special projects) (goal: $30 million)
Our Hall fundraising has added tremendous momentum to other areas of the campaign, and to date we’ve raised $97 million towards our $110 million goal.
Why does Orchestra Hall need a renovation?
When Orchestra Hall was built in 1974, most of the resources were directed into the creation of a first-class auditorium–with budget constraints causing designers to create a “temporary” wrap-around shell to house the lobby and backstage spaces. That temporary lobby was expected to endure for 15 years and only holds about one-third of the auditorium’s capacity. Now nearly 40 years later, the public spaces are undergoing renovation in order to bring our venue up to code in several areas including disabled access, repairing leaks to the building’s exterior, updating mechanical and electrical systems, making it more energy efficient and keeping pace with the public's evolving expectations of a contemporary hall.
The project is also more than a cosmetic facelift for a building. Rather, it is the physical embodiment of our vision for a vibrant Minnesota Orchestra that is committed and connected to community on every level. The renovation—with its potential for building audiences and reshaping the Orchestra’s role in the community—is vitally important for our future.
To find out more about the vision for a renovated Orchestra Hall, click the sections of our strategic plan below:
Why is the Orchestra planning to rent Orchestra Hall once the venue reopens? Does this indicate a move away from classical music performances?
Every revenue-generating activity that the Minnesota Orchestral Association engages in—from renting Orchestra Hall to selling beverages at intermission—produces funding that ultimately goes to support the Minnesota Orchestra and its classical music activities. Although we have rented Orchestra Hall to outside groups since the Hall opened in 1974, our current renovation, which includes improved gathering spaces both backstage and in the lobby, will help us serve the needs of rental partners better and open up possibilities for additional clients and new revenues to help support our core mission's operating budget.
Many of our regular rental partners are themselves community or professional music ensembles who wish to perform in the acoustic brilliance of Orchestra Hall, including the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, MMEA All-State Orchestra, Minnesota Youth Symphonies and VocalEssence, among others. These partnerships are vital, and we are privileged that Orchestra Hall can continue to serve as a destination venue for top music ensembles across our community.