In October 2019, the Fort Collins Symphony celebrated the beginning of its Platinum 70th Season with great fanfare. A mere five months later, the concert season ended abruptly with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The orchestra’s final performance, titled “Silver Linings,” was a foreshadowing of how our organization would approach this time of international crisis. Together—our orchestra, board, Maestro, staff, and Friends of the Symphony—recognized the opportunity to forge a path anew. That being said, the path forward just happened to be deeply rooted in the previous year of strategic planning. In that plan, the board committed to expanding our digital presence, performing at outdoor venues, hosting Pop-Up ensemble performances, playing concerts year-round, and finding new ways to reach underserved and at-risk audiences. Safely masked and socially distanced (our new mantra), live Pop-Up concerts were carefully planned. And, move forward we did!
None of our efforts would have been possible if not for the incredible support and generosity of our patrons, community partners, local businesses, the City of Fort Collins, and the State of Colorado. In the early days of the pandemic, 84 households contributed $21,505 to our musicians’ “Keep Us Playing” fund. The Bank of Colorado helped us secure funding from the Payroll Protection Program and Economic Impact Disaster Loan. Dr. Peter Springberg’s $50,000 challenge to build reserves was met with over 150 members of the community contributing $65,060. Grants from the City of Fort Collins, Fort Fund, Colorado Creative Industries, National Endowment for the Arts, Small Business Assistance Grant program, and the Fan Foundation helped fund the Symphony’s virtual Fourth of July concert and the Youth Education Series concert (which will stream to Poudre and Thompson School District students this winter). A major gift from the Everitt estate made it possible for the orchestra to perform the first live concert at the Bob and Joyce Everitt Pavilion at the Gardens on Spring Creek in August. Last, but certainly not least, the incredible outpouring of support from individuals and businesses in response to our fall “Playing for Keeps” fundraising campaign and Colorado Gives Day ensures your Fort Collins Symphony will continue performing.
We hope you will return often to our website where we will continue to add new educational content, interviews, music, and information about upcoming concerts, programs, and projects. As we like to say, please stay well and stay tuned.
Mary A. Kopco