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It took a couple of years of planning, and a LOT of fundraising. But the Springfield Symphony has completed moving their offices from their former location on Division Street to the Creamery Arts Center in Jordan Valley Park, which is also home to the Springfield Regional Arts Council and various other local arts organizations. The orchestra held a press conference in their new digs this morning, and KSMU's Randy Stewart was there.
The finishing touches are being put on the Symphony's new space in the Creamery, on the newly-finished second floor of formerly-unused warehouse space. Symphony Executive Director Janice Bennett talked about what the organization gains by this move.
JANICE BENNETT: I think it's more comfortable. It's more airy. The other location, just... the windows were falling out, you know, different things that were happening to that were happening to that house. So this is just more pleasant, and it's a better location. And it's going to be great to be with the other arts organizations.
RANDY: So it's not so much a gain in space as it is just the comfort of the surroundings.
JANICE: The comfort, definitely the comfort. It's just more pleasant, and you can go out to Jordan Valley Park and take a walk....
Symphony music director Ron Spigelman expressed similar feelings.
RON SPIGELMAN: The old building--we were in there how many years, 23 years that we were in that building? And it was great that the Park Board allowed us to have that space. But we were kind of out there on our own. And we felt by us being here, we both strengthen ourselves--by getting dedicated office space, because that was a house that was converted--and two, strengthen the arts in the community by us all being together as one unit, essentially, under one roof, working together.
Springfield Symphony Board president Stan Arnoldy:
STAN ARNOLDY: I would like to thank the Community Foundation, the City of Springfield, and Butler, Rosenbury for helping us through the planning and completion of this entire project. As far as moving in here, we needed to raise funds to complete our infill; I'd like to say a special thanks to all the patrons of the Springfield Symphony that contributed generously to the first phase of our capital campaign.
And one order of business this morning was the presentation of a check for $125,000 representing that capital campaign, to Gary Funk of the Community Foundation. Then it was Maestro Ron Spigelman's turn at the podium:
RON SPIGELMAN: This is really the culmination of a dream that started almost two years ago, when some of our Board members visited an open house in the Creamery Arts Center. Where we're standing right now was just simply warehouse space, and nobody could envision at that time how simply extraordinary these offices would be. We're just extremely excited that this has finally come to fruition. But like I say to everybody, we're only just always going to be "getting started;" if we've reached a goal, that goal was the start of the next goal. And I would like to call this the "New Artbeat" of Springfield, because that's really what it is. I wanted to announce two new initiatives to celebrate our new arrival here. We are going to be starting the "Community Outreach Fund" for the purpose of putting musicians in different areas of our community for special events. When another organization in the community needs some music to enhance the project, to enhance the opening, we want to be there to help that. And secondly, the "Musicians Initiative Fund," a fund in which the musicians themselves are going to be involved in the process of bringing education and outreach into our community. If a musician comes up with a program, an idea, or simply is needing some discretionary money to help a young musician out, in case they aren't able to afford an instrument or the rental of one, they have now their own fund that they apply to, and the musicians themselves will govern this fund. So they will create a committee that will award this money themselves, which will be a way for them to be integrally involved in the outreach of music in our community. And we're also going to be announcing some other exciting educational initiatives around the Creamery and throughout the region soon. The orchestra is kicking off its season next Sunday September 9 at Branson Landing, and Andy Williams will join us for three songs. And our season is just about to start September 29th--an all-Russian program including Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto is going to kick off our season. So, exciting things. We want to thank everybody for making this happen. And as I say, we're just getting started, and in keeping with the ballpark next door, let's "play ball," and thank you so much.