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Patricia and Jim Wooster


re: Why support the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra?


Because our daughter is one of the GRSO’s fine musicians, we’ve enjoyed several concerts by the orchestra even though we live near Seattle and Tacoma, on the West Coast.


What’s happening here helps explain one important but often unrecognized benefit of strong cultural institutions. New, growing companies whose staff must include many highly educated people know that a thriving arts scene, including a fine orchestra like the GRSO, is an important criterion for choosing a new location. These employers prefer a city with strong arts support over one without it because they must attract key employees who want to live in a city that offers local access to the arts at the professional level.


Grand Rapids’ economic growth is impressive. The city will be missing a bet, however, if it doesn’t obtain its share of today’s high-tech and professional job growth. Those well-paid employees make bigger contributions to all aspects of the city’s economy. Strong, ongoing support of the GRSO will help maximize the economic growth of the city.


Patricia and Jim Wooster

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