Omaha Symphony's Economic Impact Hits High Note

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

The Omaha Symphony has generated an accumulative economic impact of $45 million in Douglas County during the past five years, according to a new study.

The Omaha Symphony and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research today announced the results of the study, including an impact of $22.52 million in labor income paid to an estimated 161 workers in the five-year period ending June 30, 2012. During that same time, the symphony’s economic impact on the state of Nebraska (outside Douglas County) was $36.95 million, including $17.87 million in labor income.

Last year alone, officials said the Omaha Symphony’s economic impact was $8.88 million in Douglas County, including $4.47 million in labor income paid during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.

“The Omaha Symphony plays a vital role in the community,” said Omaha Symphony Chairman David Slosburg. “Not only does the Omaha Symphony add to our way of life by providing entertainment and educational opportunities for tens of thousands concertgoers and students each year, it generates a significant economic impact. That message – and the part that the Omaha Symphony plays in attracting and retaining employees – reinforces the importance of our symphony to Omaha and Nebraska.”

Along with releasing the economic impact study, the Omaha Symphony disclosed the results of ticket sales, contributions, and community outreach activities for the fiscal year that is about to end on June 30:

  • Paid attendees to the symphony increased 12 percent in the 2012/13 season: 54,023 paid tickets in 2012/13 versus 48,313 in the 2011/12 season.
  • Gross ticket revenue increased 6 percent in 2012/13: $1,636,693 versus $1,543,359 in 2011/12.
  • The symphony’s annual gala last month, featuring Condoleezza Rice and Al Jarreau, drew a record attendance of 430 at the pre-concert dinner; revenue for the gala exceeded the budget by 40 percent ($245,865 versus $175,000 budget).
  • Overall fundraising in the 2012/13 season increased, surpassing last year’s contributed income and this year’s goals.
  • The 2013 Omaha Gives! Day was a great success for the Omaha Symphony, raising over $59,000 in 24 hours. The Omaha Symphony came in 7th place out of 318 area non-profits in total money raised.
  • In 2011/12, the symphony’s in-school programs engaged 326 schools, reaching 28,222 students, and spanning 34,370 hours worth of teaching through instruction and interactive learning. Over six seasons from 2006/07 through 2011/12, total reach included 192,543 students.
  • Education outreach in 2012/13 included a concert tour to Kearney and North Platte, reaching 2,035 students and 18 schools in central Nebraska.
  • Overall, the Omaha Symphony ended the fiscal year on June 30, 2013 with a budget surplus.
  • At a meeting of the Board of Directors last week, the board adopted a three-year budget for the organization that projects modest surpluses for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 fiscal years, based on a long-term sustainability plan.

    Strong, attractive concert programming featuring well-known names, such as pop icon Olivia Newton-John and world-famous violinist Joshua Bell, and intriguing concert concepts, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, propelled the symphony’s 2012/13 season. In the cases of Joshua Bell and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, both nearly sold out the 2,000-seat capacity Holland Center. Two performances of The Midtown Men also saw nearly-sold out houses.

    In addition, strong programming in the Movie Music series, including a John Williams Celebration and a tribute to the music of James Bond, attracted large audiences, many of whom were experiencing the symphony for the first time.

    The momentum from last season has propelled season tickets sales for the 2013/14 season, which went on sale in March, to the highest they have been in five years. The symphony is pleased to announce that the number of subscriptions sold is 11 percent greater than 2012/13, for the same time period.

    Programming in 2013/14 includes guest artists like Neil Sedaka, André Watts, a night of Bee Gees music, and a screening of Singin’ in the Rain.

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