Detroit Symphony receives $500K to support African-American music

Posted on: March 22, 2012

In Wednesday’s (3/21) Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker highlights the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s efforts to promote African-American composers, “from its annual Classical Roots concerts to recordings to a fellowship program for promising young black musicians. And no one is more responsible for that leadership role than the late civil rights pioneer and longtime DSO board member Arthur Johnson, who died in November at age 85. To honor Johnson’s legacy, friend and fellow DSO board member William Pickard and his company Global Automotive Alliance have made a $500,000 endowment gift to the orchestra to establish the Arthur L. Johnson African American Artist Fund. The money will seed the DSO’s ongoing commitment to performing, commissioning and recording works by black composers and hiring black guest artists. … Johnson spearheaded the creation of the Classical Roots concerts in the late 1970s that celebrate blacks in classical music. … In addition to Pickard’s lead gift, an additional $200,000 has been pledged to the Johnson fund by PVS Chemicals CEO Jim Nicholson, a former DSO board chairman.”

Posted March 22, 2012