$1 Million Grant to Detroit Symphony Orchestra Secures Endowed Chair

$1 Million Grant to Detroit Symphony Orchestra Secures Endowed Chair

Today we announced $4.9 million in new and ongoing grants during our March grant cycle. See the complete list here.

A $1 million grant to Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will provide permanent funding for the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.

“Twenty years ago, Fred Erb partnered with DSO to ensure a jazz future in Detroit as distinguished as its past. Today, we are pleased to strengthen our jazz collaboration with DSO in additional endowment funding for the Fred A. Erb Jazz Chair and related jazz programming,” said Neil Hawkins, president of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. “Terence Blanchard, and previous holders of the chair, have truly shown the value of jazz and classical musical collaboration.”

The grant aligns with the Foundation’s 2017 endowment gift, reflecting Fred Erb’s lifelong passion for jazz and ensuring that the Orchestra’s performances and education programs will continue to honor and amplify Detroit’s incredible jazz legacy.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation for their continued partnership and support of jazz programming and education at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra,” said DSO President and CEO Erik Rönmark. “The establishment in 2002 of the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair, currently held by Terence Blanchard, recognized the importance of jazz to the past, present, and future of the DSO and Orchestra Hall. Twenty years later, we are proud to still be one of the very few orchestras to present a jazz series on its main stage and to have expanded our jazz education offerings for young people.”

In addition, general operating support totaling $1.1 million was awarded to five watershed organizations that steward the Clinton, Detroit, Huron, Raisin, and Rouge rivers in Southeast Michigan. Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority received a grant of $150,000 for its work to improve the health of the Bayfield River in Ontario.

After a review of a study of combined sewer overflows and input from stakeholders, the board approved updated grant guidelines for Urban Runoff. Future grants will support regional collaboration, research, and policy efforts aimed at improving water quality and climate resiliency in Southeast Michigan’s rivers and the Great Lakes.

We are also supporting the following organizations, among others, in the March grants cycle:

  • Michigan State University received $750,000 to develop a monitoring strategy in partnership with state and federal agencies to measure progress towards meeting the State of Michigan’s goal to reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie by 40%
  • Lakeshore Legal Aid received $175,000 for outreach and education related to lead hazards, remediation, and poisoning of children in Detroit and Wayne County
  • Inforum received $464,700 to establish operating infrastructure and an engagement strategy for Sustainable Business Network of Detroit that will help make Southeast Michigan a global leader in sustainable business