Orchestra Iowa finds success with entrepreneurial attitude

Posted on: May 5, 2014

“For Orchestra Iowa, diversification no longer means adding an occasional saxophone to the mix,” writes Diana Nollen in Saturday’s (5/4) Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). “The Floods of 2008 not only forced the group out of its home in the ravaged Paramount Theatre but forced its leaders to reinvent a business model so vivace that the 91-year-old organization is balancing its $3.1 million budget … [and] succeeding, thanks to a business model unlike any other, according to CEO Robert Massey and Music Director Timothy Hankewich. ‘We’re incredibly entrepreneurial,’ Massey said, with the end result being stability. Orchestra Iowa has grown to be the state’s largest not-for-profit performing organization in terms of budget and performance schedule. That budget has doubled from a low of $1.6 million right after the flood, and 150 concerts are staged per year.… As a business entity, Orchestra Iowa offers core programming of symphonic concerts, opera and ballet through collaborations with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and Ballet Quad Cities, as well as key presenting partnerships. Rachelle Schlosser, director of media relations for the League of American Orchestras in New York … [cited] Orchestra Iowa’s outreach within the community and farther afield in the state, as well as efforts to bring other audiences into the Paramount and non-traditional sites.”

Posted May 5, 2014