Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Women's Association and Volunteer Council Records

Accession Number: 
23 linear feet

This collection contains materials from the DSO Volunteer Council, established in 1989, and its predecessor, the Women's Association of the DSO (WADSO), from the 1930s to 2011. Documents relate to the internal workings of the volunteer organization and its public activities. The purpose of WADSO and the Volunteer Council was "to promote and support the artistic excellence of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and promote community involvement and pride in the orchestra through fundraising projects and through education and audience development." WADSO was established in 1928 with a small number of members and grew to over 1,000 by its 50th anniversary in 1978. A sub-organization was established in 1939, the Junior Women's Association, to attract younger members. From the beginning, the organization's leaders and members included many prominent women from Detroit and its surrounding communities. WADSO joined with several DSO support committees in 1989 to become The Volunteer Council. Over the decades, major fund raising for the DSO was accomplished through a wide variety of events, including opening- night galas, auctions, fashion shows, designer showhouses, Nutcracker luncheons and boutiques, and concerts presented in private homes. Materials in the collection include meeting minutes and documents of various boards, officers and committees; documents related to events; newsletters, clippings and publicity materials; correspondence and publications.

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