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The Affiliates' story begins with Maestro Rothwell who suggested forming a support group for the LA Philharmonic. In 1923, the first group organized in Los Angeles: the Women's Committee. Similar support groups in outlying communities formed when the Philharmonic began performing "run-out" concerts in their neighborhoods. To help the Philharmonic build an audience, support groups sold concert tickets in their neighborhoods. The support groups also began to fill the orchestra's need for financial support by creating a Continuance Fund, which continues today as the Philharmonic Friends Campaign.
As time went on, support groups proliferated. When the Philharmonic took up its new winter residence in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the LA Music Center in 1964, the move generated an increased enthusiasm for the Philharmonic, and common-interest Committees formed. Over the years, Committees moved in and out of the Philharmonic family, while others merged.
In 1967, the autonomous Committees came under the umbrella of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates, a structure that continues today. An Affiliate Chair represents the 16 Committees and serves a two-year term on the LAPA Board of Directors.
The Affiliates' Strategic Plan, completed in 2008, addresses the need for future special-interest Committees that will appeal to a diverse range of people who share a love for classical music.