February 25, 2021
On behalf of all of us at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, this is an update on progress that speaks to our shared resolve to keep great music in the lives of Marylanders.
The BSO has been on an extraordinary journey over the last year – a journey in which our elected leaders continue to play a vital role, and whereby there was important progress during February.
This month marks one year since the Workgroup on the BSO chaired by former Senator Ed Kasemeyer delivered its comprehensive report to the General Assembly. Guided by the Workgroup’s recommendations, and with a shared vision of the future – supported by a five-year strategic plan and historic five-year agreement with our musicians – we have been moving forward to implement positive, necessary, and critical change. Another important result of the Workgroup’s recommendations was crucial legislation passed during the 2020 Legislative Session. This legislation to support the new multi-year plan appropriates bridge funding for the BSO as follows: FY22 $1.5M; FY23 $1.3M; FY24 $1.1M; FY25 $0.9M; and FY26 $0.7M.
We appreciate that the Governor and the General Assembly have the monumental task of allocating expenditures of taxpayer dollars and understand that in making those decisions, judicious people can reach different heartfelt and principled conclusions. We are deeply grateful that earlier this month, the General Assembly has reaffirmed that the BSO should be among the State’s funded priorities with a vote to override the gubernatorial veto of this 2020 legislation that was always deemed absolutely critical to our turnaround plans and in turn the future of the BSO.
In closing, the State of Maryland is viewed as a national leader for its commitment to arts and culture. As Maryland’s largest arts organization, the BSO is a major driving force behind quality of life and economic benefits provided by our State’s world-class cultural assets. With the support and partnership of our community, we are resilient, optimistic, and proud of the progress that has been made – but it is critically important that we stick to our plan, strengthened by the State’s partnership, if we are to emerge stronger and enrich the lives of even more Marylanders.
We are very thankful for this month’s inspiring vote of confidence in the BSO’s plans for the future.