The Shreveport Symphony – once the picture of artistic notoriety and financial health – was in steep decline. By the time newly-appointed Executive Director Lois Robinson arrived in 2011, a potentially insurmountable financial challenge existed that in short order would drive the organization into insolvency. Ms. Robinson’s quick tactical vision helped the SSO survive.
With resources and organizational confidence being at an all-time low, the Shreveport Symphony made the brilliant move to hire a true turn-around CEO in Lois Robinson. Understanding that re-engaging long-time but lapsed patrons as contributors would provide a much-needed cash infusion, one of her first calls was to RSC. Shreveport is a community who cares deeply about its arts programs, but that affection had not been harnessed by the Orchestra in several years. RSC saw this as an opportunity to help the SSO rebuild trust, interest and investment from its community.
In October 2011, RSC began an important engagement with the SSO to assess the financial crisis and to make immediate recommendations for stabilizing funding, communicating to stakeholders, and rallying board leadership and community support. This work was accomplished with virtually no expense budget by uniting local stakeholders into a common cause – save the SSO. Eventually, a development staff person was hired and RSC took an active role in that individual’s development.