News Column

PSO meets fundraising goal on Kickstarter for N.Y. trip

February 28, 2014

By Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Feb. 28--The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has made a successful debut on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter, exceeding a goal of $30,000 to support the orchestra's trip in May to Carnegie Hall.

The money will help fund the PSO's participation in the Spring for Music festival in New York City.

The festival presents orchestras from across the continent, so PSO officials thought a Kickstarter campaign -- the organization's first -- would appropriately demonstrate community support for the symphony.

To receive any funding from Kickstarter, a project must achieve its minimum goal. The orchestra's campaign continues through tonight, although it met its goal Thursday afternoon.

The PSO's performance May 10 also will feature the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and several guest artists, including actor F. Murray Abraham.

The successful campaign "shows that there's a lot of people interested in Pittsburgh and outside of Pittsburgh who wanted to see us perform on the Carnegie Hall stage and bring the Pittsburgh name" to the world-renowned venue, said Al Jacobsen, senior manager of corporate and tour sponsorship.

Visit Pittsburgh will host a private event for clients to accompany the performance, he said.

More than 165 people have pledged funds to the campaign.

Their names are listed on the Kickstarter website. The list includes people from within and outside of the PSO and from Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

They will receive incentives for pledges of at least $10, including recordings and admission to a PSO rehearsal. One donor contributed at least $2,500.

The orchestra publicized the campaign through social media and email and encouraged individuals within its own ranks to contribute and share the project with others. It is typical for the PSO to receive financial support from people inside the organization, Mr. Jacobsen said.

"It was very much a grass-roots effort," he said.

The total cost of the New York tour is roughly $300,000, with the remainder coming from the festival's artist fee, individual donors and corporate sponsorship.

Arts organizations increasingly have relied on Kickstarter to fund creative projects. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Nashville Symphony have led successful Kickstarter campaigns, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra recently launched one as well.

Elizabeth Bloom: ebloom@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1750 or on Twitter @BloomPG.

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Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)


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