How Will the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Move Forward after the Damage COVID-19 Caused the Fine Art Industry?

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has reopened its doors this past September to the public in hopes of bringing about a new normal for those who enjoy the arts.

Emily Hackbarth is the advancement associate at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Her daily tasks include being in charge of all database entry of gifts and donations that come into the Symphony as well as handling all tax acknowledgment processes. In addition to that Emily is also part of a committee that looks for new ways to recruit younger donors. She started in March March at the MSO just one year after the original lock down due to the coronavirus. MSO’s doors were still closed and Staff was working from home until late June when the office reopened. The main concern for MSO was that there would be a lack of funding since they were unable to earn income until they launched virtual sessions in February of 2021. Emily stated “Thankfully, our donors are very dedicated to the Symphony and so they understood that during a time of need we needed more funds than we would in a normal year”. Her job was essential to making sure the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was receiving the funds it needed to keep their doors open.

Here is a summarized list of the current COVID-19 requirements for guest which can be found through the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras website home page.

  • face masks properly covering the nose and mouth will be required while inside the Bradley Symphony Center for any MSO performance or event.
  • MSO requires proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of negative test within 72 hours – accompanied by a valid ID
  • MSO musicians, staff, and volunteers adhere to the same vaccination policy and will continue wearing face masks
  • Multiple hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the facility. Restrooms are equipped with touchless faucets, soap dispensers, and toilet flushers.
  • The Bradley Symphony Center is equipped with a state-of-the-art HVAC Plasma Air Bipolar Ionization system

Although not a music or theater major Lexington Gracias has had a passion for the arts since a child. The UWW communications major is attending the university in hopes she will have a degree to fall back on. But her real passion is the theater. When mentioning the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Lexington is very familiar with the work that they put out and was ecstatic when they reopened this September.

Bradley is a music education major at the UWW and COVID has affected him both on a personal level and an academic level. Music majors have had a hard time adapting to this new normal. Practicing with masks on not being able to see the faces of the audience and not even having an audience for quite some time has had a toll on how Bradley sees the music industry. Bradley hopes there won’t be a new normal and things will go back to the way they used to be in the future the idea of having online performances without an audience be normal it is heartbreaking for somebody with a passion for the arts.

Finally in September of 2021 they had their opening season at the Bradley Symphony center. They hope to keep their doors open to the public for many years to come.


  • Kristin Jones

    We live in Lake Country and have been Mke Symphony Pips season ticket holder for 10+ years. But being harassed for you vaccinations card , driver’s license, and constant masking when Laje Counrey has none is incredibly insane. It reuined our time and we will not go back until sesnsibilty comes back to MKE. Do you hear Lake Country Covid numbers skyrocketing!!! My last point. Good Luck MKE symphony orchestra.

    • Hannah Santeler

      You – your*
      Laje Counrey – lake country*
      reuined – ruined*
      sesnsibilty – sensibility*

      I’m sorry the safety of those around you is an inconvenience to your day.
      I’m just a student blogger but perhaps… try therapy to relieve some of this very apparent stress.

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