Reaching Out in Iowa

In bad times, the smaller orchestras usually suffer most. A happy exception is the Cedar Rapids Symphony. In its 72nd season, the orchestra has generated an $18,000 operating surplus, significant corporate sponsorship and enormous goodwill in a relatively small metropolitan area of 170,000. With a high caliber of performances and an impressive array of outreach programs that include free violin lessons for every third-grade public-school student, the organization has transcended its amateur origins to become a model for the whole country.

"I know of no other community of this size that supports an orchestra with a budget of $1.3 million," says...

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