Dear Friends of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,
We are excited to announce the BSO’s five-year Strategic Plan, a transformative and sustainable plan for the future. The Plan is the result of deep analysis into performance and industry trends, as well as input from former Senator Ed Kasemeyer, Chairman of the State Workgroup on the BSO, and the advice of Michael Kaiser, the leading national consultant on cultural organization turn-arounds.
The BSO’s Strategic Plan 2020 focuses on Culture, Capital, Capacity and Community:
- Culture: Ensuring that the art and education we deliver are among the best in the nation, engage our audience and donors, serve our community and are surprising and inspiring.
- Capital: Ensuring we have the financial resources we need to support this programming and that we are responsible stewards of our assets.
- Capacity: Ensuring that we have the people and the systems we need to manage the institution effectively and efficiently and to govern the organization responsibly.
- Community: Ensuring that we serve our entire Baltimore and Montgomery County communities effectively, and that we fully occupy our role as the leader of the performing arts in Maryland.
Central to the Plan will be the implementation of a rolling three-year artistic plan, with a rich portfolio of performances, complemented by robust educational programs. The BSO will deliver programs at locations throughout the State as well as reach Maryland’s underserved communities. More information about the Plan, including strategic investments and programs designed to grow our family of audience members and donors, is below, and we will keep you informed in the weeks and months ahead.
One of the key factors supporting the success of the Plan is the fact that our organization is working together to move toward a bright future. Our Vision Committee, a standing committee of the Board, is led by Board Chairman Barry Rosen and is composed of board members, endowment trustees, musicians, artistic leadership, staff, and civic leaders who care deeply about the BSO and its work.
As we embark on this collaborative journey, we also know that additional philanthropic support, including multi-year commitments, will be critical to make the exciting future a reality. Today, the BSO is delighted to announce a new gift of $1 million from the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds – a gift expanding an inspirational legacy of multigenerational, leadership support initiated by the late Joseph Meyerhoff, for whom the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall is named.
It is with a spirit of gratitude that we share this news with you. On behalf of all of us in the BSO family, thank you for being among our most staunch believers.
Please contact me with any questions or comments. We greatly appreciate your continued support of your Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Peter T. Kjome
President and CEO
For more information regarding the BSO's Strategic Plan, please continue below.
Objectives and programs outlined in the BSO’s Strategic Plan 2020 include:
- Superb Artistry: The Orchestra and its superb musicians will present a portfolio of performances of the highest quality, adopting longer-view planning to secure internationally recognized guest artists and plan several key initiatives as pillars of each season.
- Key Artistic Anchors: There will be three to five major programs each season, including a mini-festival approach that incorporates extended thematic programming and collaborative arts partners. In addition to a focus on classical composers, new concepts being considered include Gospel and Hip-Hop, building on efforts such as the BSO’s highly successful Gospel programs.
- New Series: Building on the success of Pulse, develop a new cross-over concert series designed to attract a younger, diverse audience. Enhance the SuperPops series with contemporary pops programming that will complement the exceptional classical programs presented by the BSO.
- Patron Experience: Enhance the patron experience of our concertgoers at both of our homes by exploring improvements in customer service, pre-concert music and receptions with our musicians and guest artists. At the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, enhance the customer experience through food options and other improvements in the concert hall lobby.
- Education: Further strengthen the BSO’s rich array of educational programs for residents of all ages, while also ensuring that we reach Maryland’s underserved communities and classrooms. Programs include OrchKids, a music program creating social change and nurturing promising futures for youth, and the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras, with three orchestral ensembles of young musicians. The BSO will also continue to create innovative programs for lifelong learners, following a tradition that includes the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians.
- Community Presence and Statewide Service: Continue the success of the BSO’s Symphony in the City concerts, expanding reach and access with the launch of BSO in Your City, presenting concerts and residencies across the state and performances in rural areas of Maryland.
- Community Engagement: Create a Community Advisory Board to provide input into engagement activities. To help foster diversity, equity, and inclusion, develop a thoughtful DEI statement and plan that spans all facets of the institution in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders.
- Accessibility: Utilize technology to serve a broader geographic area beyond the concert hall, including live-streaming concerts. Make BSO performances accessible to audiences around the world and introduce new formats to bring the BSO to new audiences.
- Positive Catalyst: Work in partnership with community leaders to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the neighborhood around the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
- Collaboration: Collaborate with other established and emerging Maryland institutions and artists in creating unique programs to attract new audiences and serve the community.
- Leveraging Our Assets: Invest in our home at the Meyerhoff by enhancing our capacity to generate additional revenue, inviting the community into our doors through rentals and other non-BSO activities. Maximize our presence in our second home at Strathmore by creating opportunities to expand our reach into the Montgomery County community.
Other areas of the Plan include enhancements in fundraising, marketing, board and staff development, and incorporating members of the orchestra more deeply into the planning process. Implementation of the plan has begun, and Michael Kaiser, Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, will continue to consult with the organization over the next year. The strategic investments and programs are designed to move the Orchestra to a future place of self-sustainability, including driving incremental earned as well as contributed revenue during the term of the five-year plan.