Sycuan Band, Sycuan Casino Present $1.1 Million Donation to San Diego Symphony

Sycuan Symphony Check Presentation
L-R: Tom McMahon, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sycuan Casino Resort; Rob Cinelli, General Manager, Sycuan Casino Resort; Martha A. Gilmer, CEO, San Diego Symphony; and Cody Martinez, Chairman, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.

SAN DIEGO, CA – The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Sycuan Casino Resort has made a $1.1 million donation – the single largest cash gift ever given to the the San Diego Symphony’s arts and culture sector by a sovereign tribal nation in Southern California. The historic gift is given to the symphony’s “The Future is Hear” campaign and operational support of the symphony’s many artistic and community programs. Sycuan’s gift brings The Future is Hear campaign total raised to date to $123.5 million of its $125 million campaign goal. In recognition of the gift, the symphony will establish the Sycuan Community Plaza at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The unveiling of the newly named space at The Rady Shell occurred prior to the 2022 Conrad Prebys Opening Night Concert.

Sycuan Community Plaza
In recognition of the donation, the symphony will establish the Sycuan Community Plaza at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.

“We are honored to present this donation to the San Diego Symphony in support of their many local artistic community programs,” said Cody Martinez, Chairman, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. “Through the Kumeyaay spirit of giving, it is very important for us to invest in all aspects of our community, especially arts and culture. We are very proud of our longstanding partnership with the symphony and look forward to being a part of the different musical events and experiences that they continue to bring to life for the San Diego community.”

The Future is Hear campaign supports San Diego Symphony’s wide-ranging artistic and community programs, including construction of an extraordinary state-of-the art, year-round outdoor waterfront venue and public park along the Embarcadero. The campaign also encompasses improvement of the infrastructure of Copley Symphony Hall at the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center, engagement of all of San Diego’s diverse communities with transformative musical experiences, and  ensuring the future of the  Symphony. 

As part of this gift, Sycuan is also the lead sponsor of the Symphony’s Music Connects program. This long-standing program provides broad access to musical experiences for the entire San Diego region including free neighborhood concerts and free performances in hospitals, senior residences and other community centers.

Sycuan San Diego Symphony
Sycuan is also the lead sponsor of the Symphony’s Music Connects program.

“We are honored to have this extraordinary gift from Sycuan to support The Future is Hear campaign and our community programming,” said Martha A. Gilmer, CEO of the San Diego Symphony. “From their early generosity towards our former ‘Bayside Summer Nights’ outdoor concert series to the newest partnership that will benefit our community programs, they have always been a vital partner for this orchestra. Together we are building greater access to cultural experiences in our region.”

The Sycuan partnership will include benefits for each organization’s community at large – with discounted symphony tickets made available to Sycuan employees and tribal members, and discount packages for casino amenities made available to the symphony’s constituents. Also, hospitality amenities at the Rady Shell will be available to Sycuan to host its clients at concerts, and musicians will have opportunities to perform at the Sycuan Casino Resort, deepening the symphony’s connections in the El Cajon neighborhood.

Historically, Sycuan’s partnership with the San Diego Symphony goes back two decades and includes nearly $2 million in donations. Some of the earliest major gifts were given in support of Summer Pops, the symphony’s initiative that started with the annual construction of a temporary stage at Embarcadero Marina Park South and evolved to the present, permanent state-of-the-art Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The gift will mark the largest single gift by a tribal entity in Southern California’s history to an arts and culture institution.