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Cincinnati's symphony, opera, ballet to benefit from $85 million gift

Here's an eye-popping story, perfectly timed for the holiday spirit of giving:

My colleague Janelle Gelfand reports that Louise Dieterle Nippert, a 98-year-old arts patron and former soprano, has donated $85 million to a fund that will generate support for the city's cultural institutions -- to the tune of $75 for the Cincinnati Symphony, another $10 million for "the Cincinnati Ballet, the Cincinnati Opera and the May Festival, with the stipulation that those organizations continue to use CSO players in their performances."

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Amazing.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Rich people in Baltimore, what are you waiting for? Yes, those other gifts you've been making are most appreciated by one and all, but they're just not in this league. When you get up to $85 million, you're starting to talk real money. Imagine what that could do here, could have done last year, say, before Baltimore Opera sunk beneath the waves. Oh well, no point in being jealous. Hats off to Mrs. Nippert.

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