18 March 2008

Fremont Symphony near bankruptcy, how about it A's?

The candidates in the upcoming mayoral election are going to talk a great deal about "quality of life" issues. The definition of "quality of life" is a loose one and can cover a variety of topics, from public safety and education to shopping and recreation to traffic and infrastructure. Political leanings tend to color discussions a bit. Institutions that we often take for granted all contribute in their own way to what we call "quality of life."

It is with that understanding that I must point out that the Fremont Symphony Orchestra is on the verge of bankruptcy. The symphony, which is been around for 44 years, is in arrears to the tune of $40,000, one-tenth of its annual budget. More on this from the
Argus' Matthew Artz:

The symphony is hoping to raise $50,000 inthe coming months — $15,000 from the city and $35,000 from the fundraiser — to pay off its debts and prepare for what would be its 45th season this fall, Treadway said.

Fundraisers account for about 20 percent of the symphony's budget, but in recent years, the events haven't met their targets, he said. Other than rising musician fees, symphony costs and revenues have remained relatively stable.

The symphony went into debt during the 2006-07 season when it added shows, but didn't raise enough money to pay for them, symphony Executive Director Dyane Hendricks said.

Now, we're all aware that Lew Wolff has been making the rounds in the Tri-Cities for the last year, helping raise funds for various groups. Last year the team, in conjunction with the Good Tidings Foundation, donated the newly renovated and named Eckersley Field at Washington High School in Fremont.

I'm also aware of the fact that there are supporters of Cisco Field within the symphony ranks. I've spoken to one proponent who has talked with a gleam in his eye about the symphony doing outdoor performances at the public park just beyond centerfield. You know, the one with the two-sided scoreboard?

So, how about it Lew? Why not work with Good Tidings again and lend FSO a helping hand? Take some of that nice money the commish is throwing the team's way for the upcoming Japan trip and turn it around to benefit another community institution. It would go a long way towards maintaining Fremont's quality of life.

I wouldn't mind shuffling over to Cisco Field on a future 4th of July, taking in a ballgame and a concert by FSO. Nope, it wouldn't be bad at all.