Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Making a year-end donation to the Nashville Symphony

I have a long-standing practice of donating any Google Ad revenue checks from this blog to worthwhile local non-profits who give so much back to the community. Past causes I've donated to include: Fisk University, Buena Vista Enhanced Option School, Cumberland River Compact, Second Harvest Food Bank, 88.1 WFSK FM, North Nashville Flood Relief Group, Nashville Jazz Workshop, Friends of Nashville Farmers' Market, and the Cheatham Place Kids Christmas Party.

The travails of a significant source of cultural exposure to music not called "country" prompted my latest donation. A letter I just put in the mail:

December 31, 2013

Nashville Symphony
One Symphony Place
Nashville, TN 37201-2031

Dear Symphony Staff:
Thanks to the patronage of advertisements by readers of my community blog, “Enclave:  Nashville North-by-Northwest,” I am happy to pass on $200 that I recently received from Google Ads to the Nashville Symphony as designated gifts. I have pledged to use advertising profits to support community organizations, particularly those in and near the urban core.
In donating I affirm the Nashville Symphony’s mission “to achieving the highest standard for excellence in musical performance and educational programs, while engaging the community, enriching audiences and shaping cultural life.” This gift is also intended as acknowledgement of the strides that your organization made in the face of daunting challenges in 2013.
In that spirit, I ask that you please divide this donation evenly:
·       $100 should go to the musicians' union, which last August ratified a 15% pay cut to help save the symphony's important role in the community
·       $100 should go to the symphony's education programs for youth, children and public school students because of the potential to enrich the cultural growth of future generations
I trust that this money will help in some small way fulfill your mission to make our community a better place to live, to work, and to visit by enhancing what you do.  And so, I am pleased to be able to give back to my local community.  I also hope that you will consider my donation as a vote of confidence in your worthwhile efforts along with an expression of best wishes for 2014.
Warm regards,

Michael Byrd

If any worthy organization deserves to have a new year better than 2013 it is the Nashville Symphony. Bank of America almost took them under but by summer they were saved from bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the jobs of food service workers who probably needed those paychecks were lost. Other staff had their salaries cut.

For their part the musicians voted against their own interest: they voluntarily took a cut in pay to help the symphony keep plugging. Often, and especially in conservative states like Tennessee, unions are smeared as selfish and destructive. Very rarely are they celebrated when they vote to reduce their own paychecks to help out their employers. Such sacrifice is a service to our local community, and it ought to humble the rest of us, since musicians have to pay their bills too. With this modest donation I celebrate the sacrifice of the musicians.

I also celebrate the important role that music plays the public education of Nashville's children. I am happy to support this project.

I hope you will join me in feeling encouraged to remember the Nashville Symphony when you decide to donate. And thank you for clicking on the ads in 2013. It made this donation possible.

Happy New Year!

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