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Indianapolis Orchestras to Receive Millions as Christel DeHaan Foundation Ceases Operations

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra will each receive a gift of $2.75 million


The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (ICO) will be among the organizations to receive a sizeable payout from the Christel DeHaan Foundation, which is ceasing operations. In a process known as "sunsetting," the foundation will distribute $55 million — the entirety of its resources — to local groups, especially those in the arts.

Both orchestras will receive a gift of $2.75 million. This sum dwarfs the ICO's annual operating budget of $917,000, and will allow the group to increase the number of concerts it puts on each season — which will provide a significant financial boost to the players, who are paid per appearance.

The ISO have opted to use their gift to endow their Opening Night Gala and their Community Engagement programs, since the Christel DeHaan Foundation has supported the ISO's opening night since 2001. DeHaan was a committed supporter of the orchestra and regularly attended its concerts.

"This gift is a magnificent milestone for our organization and a true capstone of [DeHaan's] philanthropy," said Dana Stone, executive director of the ICO.

"Ms. DeHaan loved music and was an avid supporter of the ISO," said James Johnson, CEO of the ISO. "She attended a wide range of concerts, from classical performances to Symphony on the Prairie and Yuletide Celebration, but the ISO’s opening night was truly special for her. Her longtime support of this evening each year and her advocacy of the orchestra’s work in the community enabled the orchestra to be an arts leader in Indianapolis and central Indiana."

"We hope to carry on her legacy through this grant."

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