How the Hartford Symphony navigated the pandemic—online and in person, with PPP loans

Posted on: June 15, 2021

“After 16 months cut off from performing in front of in-person audiences, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is thinking big again,” writes Frank Rizzo in Monday’s (6/14) Hartford Business Journal (CT). “ ‘But we’re not completely out of the woods yet,’ says HSO Executive Director Steve Collins. Still, after a 2020-2021 season absent from its normal in-person audiences, the HSO will be performing in front of outdoor crowds in July at the Talcott Mountain Music Festival in Simsbury. Indoor concerts return Oct. 1 … at The Bushnell’s Belding Theater…. The shutdown’s fiscal impact wasn’t felt dramatically until it began to drag on for months, says Collins…. As the pandemic continued into the fall, then winter and this spring, HSO’s budget was buttressed by two federal Paycheck Protection Program loans … that prevented the organization from having to take on long-term debt, Collins said…. HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan … said during the pandemic … ‘Each decision was based on “how do we take care of everybody to the best of our ability;” the administration, staff, musicians, board, audiences, community.’ HSO’s musicians were supported financially through almost all of the 2019-2020 season, even though part of it was canceled.”