The George Gund Foundation awarded a $3 million grant at its February board meeting to support The Cleveland Orchestra's Sound for the Centennial Campaign. Pledged over six years, the award honors the late George Gund III, who was a trustee of the Musical Arts Association, the non-profit organization operating The Cleveland Orchestra, Severance Hall, and the Blossom Music Festival.
The Foundation's commitment permanently endows a new Fund for Artistic Excellence in George Gund's name, providing immediate support for the Orchestra's core artistic programming for the community. "This commitment to the Campaign not only celebrates George Gund's legacy and leadership at the Orchestra," said David Abbott, the Foundation's executive director. "It also ensures that one of our community's most valuable assets can continue to serve Northeast Ohio at the highest levels of artistic excellence."
George Gund III was elected as an international trustee in 1994 and served on the board of the Musical Arts Association for 19 years. During his tenure on the board, he championed a host of philanthropic investments from the Foundation ranging from endowment support for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra program in 1994 and special fundraising support for the Orchestra beginning in 1998. The new gift is the largest gift made by the Gund Foundation to The Cleveland Orchestra, and ranks among the largest institutional leadership commitments to the Sound for the Centennial Campaign thus far, as well as among the Foundation's largest commitments to a cultural organization in Northeast Ohio.
The $3 million gift from the Gund Foundation supports the Orchestra's Sound for the Centennial Campaign. This comprehensive campaign, which runs through the Orchestra's centennial in 2018, ensures that the Orchestra can continue to thrive now and into the future by building a significant endowment and providing immediate support for artistic excellence and diverse community and education programs.
Sound for the Centennial Campaign chairman Richard J. Bogomolny said: "We are grateful for the extraordinary generosity of the Gund Foundation. The Foundation's ongoing support will help ensure that the Orchestra can continue to serve this community with the quality musical experiences it expects and demands. The Foundation's creation of the Fund for Artistic Excellence is a fitting tribute to George Gund, who was a friend of and champion for this Orchestra. We are honored to remember him through this gift."