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$600,000 Grant for Pacific Symphony

Funding: The Leo Freedman Foundation extends its sponsorship of classical concerts through 2001.


The Leo Freedman Foundation in Anaheim has given the Pacific Symphony a three-year grant of $600,000 to extend its sponsorship of the orchestra's classical concerts at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa through the 2000-01 season and to support other orchestra activities.

The foundation has been sponsoring the classical series at the center since 1992. This grant will bring its contributions to the orchestra to a total of $1.6 million over the nine-year period.

"The Freedman grant continues to be our largest annual gift, and the total support over the years represents the largest amount we've received from any one source for annual operations," Louis G. Spisto, the orchestra's executive director, said this week.

Along with supporting the concerts, the $600,000 will help pay for live broadcasts on KUSC-FM radio of the orchestra's Thursday night concerts and will help underwrite the orchestra's education programs in eight Anaheim public schools. The programs reach more than 400 students.

"The programs will be expanded with this new grant," Spisto said. "We'll be able to put more musicians in more schools. We've become in effect the instrumental programs for these schools."


Sharon Lesk, one of the foundation's two trustees, said "the community has told us in every single way that they want and they value and they support this orchestra. We've heard from every part of the community--from people who go to the concerts, to people who only listen to the broadcasts, to city council members, to school principals, teachers, parents and students as well, who write us, thanking us for the instrumental program. The community has taken the lead, and we are following the community with enthusiasm and excitement."

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