Symphony fundraising incentive effort announced by mayor, judge

Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announce plans

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff have announced plans to incentivize private fundraising in an effort to jump-start donations for the San Antonio Symphony.

City officials said the City Council will consider a plan that would allocate previously budgeted funds to support the symphony as fundraising, operational and performance milestones are achieved over the next six months.

The fiscal year 2018 city budget includes $614,000 for the symphony, of which $368,400 remains, officials said. Payments were temporarily halted pending a decision about the current concert season.

Nirenberg and District One Councilman Roberto Treviño have since been working with city and county officials to ensure the symphony's season continues, city officials said.

"I firmly believe that the community wants to see a world-class symphony orchestra continue and thrive in San Antonio. However, the city and county cannot solve the financial difficulties of the symphony by ourselves," Nirenberg said. "We hope to encourage patrons and corporate donors to increase their financial support."

City officials said Bexar County Commissioners Court is expected next Tuesday to consider a proposal to pledge $350,000 in new, direct financial support, which would match future private fundraising. Funding from other arts-related programs would be reallocated for this purpose.

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Wolff and Nirenberg announced intentions to jointly initiate a strategic analysis of the symphony, its programming, management and long-term financial needs, city officials said.

"We've heard an outcry to help save the symphony, and we're helping find a long-term solution," Wolff said. "However, supporters need to understand that, if this season is to be saved, their increased financial contributions are needed right now."

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