Hartford Symphony Orchestra and The Bushnell to Form Affiliation

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The HSO will work more closely with The Bushnell to maximize staff synergies for
financial efficiency, programming opportunity, and fundraising potential

March 26, 2014/Hartford, CT – The Board of Directors of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and The Board of Trustees of The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts each voted this week to pursue a strategic collaboration through a two-year management services contract.

Under the agreement, the HSO and The Bushnell will remain independent, 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations.  The HSO is contracting for management services from The Bushnell through an agreement that runs through the summer of 2016.  The agreement will provide the HSO with enhanced financial reporting and management; human resources management and processes; office space, clerical and IT services; marketing and box office services; and education and programming delivery support.  The current HSO staff will be relocated to The Bushnell’s offices on Capitol Avenue in Hartford in August 2014.

In addition to the back-office services, The Bushnell will provide principal management during the initial term of the arrangement, including fundraising, governance support and the services of David Fay, who will serve as an interim CEO for the HSO in addition to continuing his ongoing duties as CEO of The Bushnell.

Carrie Hammond will be stepping aside as CEO next week when David Fay assumes the role. Carrie Hammond served as interim CEO for the HSO from May – October 2011 during Music Director Carolyn Kuan’s first season with the organization, and has been CEO since May 2012.  During her tenure, the orchestra developed numerous successful community initiatives, including CityMusic, the Musicians Care Project, the LIFE project, and Bachtoberfest.

“While there have been many prior discussions about realigning the HSO to work more closely with The Bushnell, the timing finally seems right”, said HSO Board Chairman James S. Remis.  “Through our shared vision of the value of classical music to our community and an appropriate structure to operate more efficiently, we hope to create a successful new cultural model for Greater Hartford and perhaps the nation.”

“We are committed to the success of the HSO and believe there is great opportunity for both organizations in working more closely together.  We have been extremely fortunate and take tremendous pride in having the HSO as resident company at The Bushnell for the past 70 years,” said Bushnell Board of Trustees President Robert E. Patricelli.  “In the new model we are creating, The Bushnell is renting not just its performance halls, but its infrastructure and senior management, while the HSO remains an independent organization.”

HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan says, “I am excited to extend our reach and touch more people through this new alliance with the Bushnell.  It has always been important to me to look forward to the future while truly appreciating the past.  I am grateful to all of our HSO constituents – staff, Board, musicians, and audience members for their long-standing commitment to our organization.  I am also inspired by the strong devotion of so many community leaders of both the HSO and The Bushnell who are creating a visionary administrative model to support the orchestra.  Together with David Fay and our ever growing family, I know we have what it takes to transform lives and make a difference through the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.”

“It is a substantial undertaking, but the mutual benefits are obvious,” said David Fay, Bushnell President and CEO.  “Combining the knowledge and experience of the very talented HSO staff with the tactical support of the entire Bushnell staff through this management arrangement is a win/win for both organizations – and for the greater Hartford community.”

About the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and The Bushnell

The HSO and The Bushnell are historically and respectively the preeminent classical music organization and presenter of the arts in Greater Hartford.

Since its founding in 1930, The Bushnell has provided leadership in the cultural arts through the presentation of renowned local, national and international artists and performances to generations of audiences, making it a cultural as well as economic leader in the region. In addition, Bushnell education programs have provided a strong platform for training in the classical arts to many students.

The Hartford Symphony, founded in 1934, is the second largest orchestra in New England and Connecticut’s leading music performance organization.  The HSO is a source of immense community pride and a significant force of economic growth and quality of life, having created a strong community of professional musicians who live and work in the Hartford region.  The HSO performs over fifty concerts yearly at The Bushnell that attract nearly 100,000 audience members, as well as presents hundreds of other musical activities through its extensive community engagement programs.