The Port Washington-based Horace and Amy Hagedorn Fund is awarding the cash-strapped Long Island Philharmonic a $50,000 grant and the services of a consultant who will help with a six-month reorganization, the orchestra's president said Thursday.
The Long Island Center for Nonprofit Leadership, a consulting service for nonprofits affiliated with Adelphi University, will work on the restructuring of the orchestra, which announced last month that it was forgoing its 2010-11 subscription season to minimize its debts.
"It was a big disappointment to hear that the season won't happen. We hope this [gift] will help save live classical music on Long Island," said philanthropist Amy Hagedorn, president of the Hagedorn Foundation and the widow of Horace, founder of Miracle-Gro. The foundation's philanthropic motto is "Find a need and fill it."
Long Islanders are "starting to step up to the plate to help" since news that the orchestra won't play this season except for a New Year's Eve concert at Tilles Center, said Philharmonic board president Jack Russell. "Many of our contributors have told us they will increase their support," he added. New individual contributions in smaller amounts are coming in through the website liphilharmonic.org, and Russell said he will recruit new board members to expand the orchestra's fundraising reach.
He said he hopes to announce a resumption of regular subscription concerts by the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, 2011.
The Philharmonic's annual budget is about $1 million, down from $1.5 million in recent years.
Meanwhile, the orchestra will continue its arts-in-education schools program and its young people's concerts at Tilles Center and Ward Melville High School in East Setauket. The Philharmonic also plans to play its free summer parks concerts with the Islip Arts Council at Heckscher State Park, as well as Huntington's Heckscher Park and the Brookhaven Amphitheater in Farmingville. "We're also talking to Nassau County about a location," Russell said.