The Cleveland Orchestra has announced that it will create a Center for Future Audiences and has received a $20 million gift from the Maltz Family Foundation, a supporting organization of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, to establish an endowment for the center.
The gift from the foundation is the lead gift in a $60 million campaign to fully endow the center, which will be directed by Ross Binnie and will work to eliminate economic, geographic, and cultural barriers to attending the orchestra's performances. According to Cleveland Orchestra executive director Gary Hanson, the organization will add at least two more centers of excellence with transformational missions and similar funding models over the next year.
The Center for Future Audiences will subsidize affordable ticket prices for everyone and offer free tickets to target audiences, especially younger people, in hopes of creating broader access to the live concert experience. It will also implement programs that take music into local communities and will work to adapt concert formats and facilities for audiences who might be unfamiliar with classical music.
"It's incomprehensible to think of Cleveland losing this orchestra. This would be equivalent to stopping the heartbeat of this great city," said Milton Maltz, president of the Maltz Family Foundation. "Over the decades there have been many contributors to our orchestra. It is now this generation's turn to continue to uphold the tradition. It's the right thing to do. It's our responsibility."