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DTE Energy Foundation awards DSO $2M toward community outreach

Detroit – The DTE Energy Foundation has awarded $2 million to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) to bring the symphony’s music to communities across southeast Michigan. The gift includes a three-year commitment to continue the free Community Concert Week every fall, and also includes endowment support for music education, senior citizen outreach and additional community engagement programming.

“This grant serves as a model for the sustainable partnerships that can thrive between the corporate community and our city’s cultural institutions,” said DSO Chairman Mark Davidoff. “By providing funding for today as well as helping us build our endowment for the future, the DTE Energy Foundation is ensuring the DSO’s ability to keep the beat for metro Detroit with music for generations to come.”

The generous gift builds on 50 years of partnership between the two organizations. The DTE Energy Foundation has supported numerous community and cultural events, including the DSO Pop Series from 2000 to 2010 and Classical Roots, which celebrates African-American composers and artists in music. Since 2010, the Foundation has promoted cultural diversity across Southeast Michigan through the DTE Energy Foundation Presents the DSO in Your Community concert series.

“Our communities are extremely important to us, and we believe that music, art and cultural activities and events are integral to a strong quality of life,” said Faye Nelson, vice president at DTE Energy and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “This significant gift demonstrates the DTE Energy Foundation’s commitment to continuing the legacy of the DSO and ensures that communities across Michigan have access to this important cultural institution.”

“Thanks to this leadership investment by the DTE Energy Foundation, we can continue bringing orchestral music to families across Southeast Michigan, including right here in Detroit,” said Anne Parsons, DSO President & CEO. “We are honored that after a half century of partnership, DTE and the DSO continue to find invaluable ways to reach and serve the broadest public possible.”

As part of the partnership with the DTE Energy Foundation, the DSO will deliver its sixth consecutive free concert series at four venues selected by community members. Throughout May, small ensembles of DSO musicians gave pop-up performances across the region to promote a public nomination process for determining the locations of these free concerts, which will be held September 23-25. Interested parties may nominate a venue in their community at dso.org/DTEpowersDSO.

The “DTE Powers DSO” venue competition challenges metro Detroiters to influence where the orchestra plays. Eligibility for selection to receive a free concert is based on the following criteria:

· Venue within a 45-mile radius of Orchestra Hall (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit)

· Venue appropriate to accommodate a full orchestra with a stage/performance area minimum 50’ x 40’

· Fully accessible venue meeting all ADA requirements, including ample and convenient parking

· Venue/facility donated for the free DSO community concert

· Audience capacity of 400+ and secured by the nominee

· Compelling narrative – how would a free DSO community concert impact your community? (150 words or less)

· Ability to co-promote the event

· Up to four (4) letters of support representing diverse cross sections of the community (community/civic leaders, business leaders, students, community members at large)

“Providing unforgettable musical experiences for underserved communities has been a priority of my tenure in Detroit,” said DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “In an ideal world, gaining access to beautiful music should be as simple as flipping a light switch. It’s a pleasure to work with the DTE Energy Foundation to take a powerful step in that direction.”

About the DSO:

Hailed by The New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which now reaches tens of thousands of children with the new Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences. For more information visit dso.org.

About the DTE Energy Foundation

The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.1 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.2 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2015, the DTE Energy Foundation provided $15 million in grant support to nonprofits throughout the company’s service territories. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. http://www.dteenergy.com/foundation.

For further information: Gabrielle Poshadlo; (313) 576-5194; gposhadlo@dso.org Ben Breuninger; (313) 576-5196; bbreuninger@dso.org Randi Berris; (313) 235-5555; berrisr@dteenergy.com