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?