'Tanglewood Forever' fundraiser cracks $70 million mark

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LENOX — Seventy million dollars and counting. That's the new total for the "Tanglewood Forever" fundraising campaign announced by the Boston Symphony Orchestra management Friday, ahead of Saturday evening's gala celebration for donors and patrons.

The new total represents a nearly $8 million increase over the amount reported two weeks ago and a $6 million gain over the campaign's original $64 million goal.

The drive to support the recently opened Linde Center for Music and Learning, available to the community from September to June, and the programs of the just-launched Tanglewood Learning Institute began quietly in 2012 and went public last summer.

The dramatic jump in the total collected stems from the addition of about $2.4 million in new donations earmarked toward the specific facilities and endowment aspects of the campaign, according to BSO officials. So far, 554 donors have contributed.

They also explained that about $3 million in new gifts have been made for additional facilities improvements not included in the original scope of work used to set the $64 million goal, as well as a specific endowment for a project not included in the original goal. Also, $2.2 million in "planned gifts" has been added, bringing the current bottom line to $70 million.

BSO officials also pointed out that the campaign will run through the end of August and fundraising will continue beyond that. The effort creates an endowment to support Tanglewood's overall programming, facilities improvements and a major landscaping upgrade.

"Tanglewood Forever" always has been planned as continuing through Aug. 31, the orchestra's officials noted, as conversations continue with many individuals about making commitments, "and we want to offer the opportunity for others to participate as well. Additional gifts will support ongoing capital improvements and programming."

Through annual and endowment support, future donors will ensure that new and existing facilities on campus will be improved and maintained over time, according to Friday's announcement. "They will also help the BSO continue its long-term horticultural strategy to maintain and enhance the grounds for the enjoyment of all," it stated.

"In addition, existing programming as well as new initiatives created through the Tanglewood Learning Institute will benefit from future support, including the proposed year-round offerings in the Berkshires."

The new four-building Linde Center is a climate-controlled facility.

Orchestra officials noted that "the BSO's major, long-term investment in the festival through the Tanglewood Forever campaign not only improves the Tanglewood experience by amplifying its ongoing mission of music and learning for its hundreds of thousands of summertime visitors, but also helps to ensure that Tanglewood is accessible to the Berkshire community at large."

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The new center, named for the lead donation by BSO trustee Joyce Linde, her late husband, Edward, a former BSO board chairman, and the family, is expected to forge closer ties with the Berkshire community. Details of fall, winter and spring programming will be announced this summer. The fundraiser is led by Cynthia Curme, the campaign chairwoman and a BSO trustee.

"The success of the Tanglewood Forever campaign is only possible because of so many deeply committed people working together toward one shared goal — expanding Tanglewood's reach and influence through innovative new programs, alongside its extraordinary traditional musical offerings," Linde stated.

She thanked "the many donors whose financial support is an expression of their confidence in the projects created and enhanced by this campaign, and a vision for an ever-evolving future for our beloved Tanglewood."

"We believe that Tanglewood is for everyone, and that no matter the reason one might love this extraordinary place — music, nature, learning, community — it has something for every visitor to enjoy," Curme said.

Details of the $70 million total include:

- $43 million for facilities and landscape projects, including the $33 million construction cost of the Linde Center, and improvements to the Ozawa Hall entrance and patron amenities, such as a new gate, box office and expanded restrooms;

- $23 million for an endowment to support all BSO activities in the Berkshires, including operating the Linde Center, though it does not cover all expenses.

- $4 million in immediate support for new and enhanced learning and community programs.

"We hope that the Tanglewood Forever campaign — and all that it represents for those who enjoy this place as listeners and learners — will play a major role in making the Tanglewood experience more expansive and accessible for all visitors," BSO President and CEO Mark Volpe said in a statement.

The BSO projects an additional increase in tourism revenue for the Berkshires as new visitors check out the Tanglewood Learning Institute offerings. An early study shows that 15 percent of the institute's patrons are first-time visitors to the BSO's summer home.

A report by Williams College economics professor Stephen Sheppard projected an increase from $103 million to $127 million in Tanglewood's annual economic impact on the county while the Linde Center was under construction. That's more than double the $60 million impact charted in a 2008 study.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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