top of page

A Living to Reflect Our City

by Diane McElfish Helle - GRS Violin


Grand Rapids has the third hottest economy in the country and the Grand Rapids Symphony

 is coming down the homestretch on its $40 Million endowment campaign.

 It’s a great time to be looking ahead and planning for our artistic future.

A peek into orchestra finances for the last six years shows that in

at least one area, there is some important catching up to do.


Here are a chart and two graphs that show how the livelihood of the

Grand Rapids Symphony Musicians has - and has not - changed

in both absolute terms and in relation to overall symphony expenses.

Update:  Based on the financial information currently available for the season just completed,

total Musician compensation for 2014-15 continued to stay below $4 Million, with the

percentage share of total expenses falling significantly to below 39% of total expenses.


 For some of us, visual representations communicate more vividly.

 The following two graphs illustrate the information from the above chart.

To view a graph that charts the growth of our city over the same period,

just turn the final graph upside down. Then ponder this question:


As the second largest Arts organization in the State of Michigan,

shouldn’t the Grand Rapids Symphony mirror the city’s growth and

commit to restoring and  improving the livelihood of its Musicians?

bottom of page