According to Giving USA, charitable giving set a record for the third year in a row.
Donations last year rose 1.4 percent to $390.1 billion. The largest increase came from living individuals, which offset a decrease in donations from bequests. Foundation and corporate giving also rose. Total giving was 2.1 percent of the total gross domestic product.
The NEA has announced new grant recipients. Recipients include Florida Grand Opera ($20,000 for performances of Florencia in the Amazon), Miami Music Project ($25,000 for Children's Orchestras), Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs ($35,000 for multicultural performance series in Little Havana), the Arsht Center ($25,000 for the Breakin' Miami festival), the City of Miramar ($40,000 for music artistic residencies at the Miramar Cultural Center), and Palm Beach Opera ($10,000 for performances of Marriage of Figaro).
Organizations are starting to turn to computer-generated music for video soundtracks. Services such as Jukedeck will create tracks for as little as $.99, and users can select the length of the track, its style and instrumentation, and other features.
The Miami Symphony has renewed music director Eduardo Marturet's contract for another five years. Marturet, who has served as music director and conductor since 2006, will continue until at least 2022.
The Pittsburgh Opera has received $1.2 million from Pat and Michele Atkins. The funds will be used for audience development. The couple also gave $1.2 million in 2013 to the Pittsburgh Symphony to support musicians' raises.
Fort Lauderdale Opera Works, or FLOW, has held its first performance at the Broward County Main Library. The company, founded by artistic director Jack Gardner, stage director Nate Sykes, and former FGO PR director Mazzurco Muscato, hopes to fill an opera void in Broward County and give opera singers a chance to perform for live audiences. Their first performance consisted of a concert of contemporary art songs, but they plan on producing opera in smaller venues in the future.
Houston Grand Opera has announced a six-year multidisciplinary initiative. The Opera will offer themed seasons featuring a new work each season. They will also partner with local organizations such as the Houston Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Jung Center to present lectures, tours, educational visits, and outreach into the community.
The Baltimore Symphony has a new one-year contract. Wages will rise two percent.
The San Diego Symphony has set a new sales record, with a 15.6 increase from the previous season. The Symphony also had record paid admissions with attendance up 8.2 percent.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has vetoed $500,000 in funding for a Florida Orchestra outreach program. The funding, which was approved by the legislature, would have supported the Beyond the Bay program. Last year, the Orchestra used $700,000 in state grants to perform in Volusia, Highlands, and Alachua counties, where they gave side-by-side concerts with local students.