Investing for Impact: The Berges Family Foundation


You don’t have to look far in St. Louis to see the inspiring work of the Berges Family Foundation. Jim and Cathy Berges have a talent for identifying community needs and a strong dedication to making big changes happen, whether that’s a new wing at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital or a family theatre stage at COCA. The foundation’s expressed goal is to “Enrich St. Louis and Encourage Giving.” The foundation sets out to accomplish this goal by looking for and investing in those institutions and non-profits that are best of breed in their respective areas. They find that often means an institution is not a generalist, but chooses to be “an inch wide and a mile deep.”


Through a generous grant to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2019, the Berges Family Foundation has enabled substantial technology enhancements that have bolstered the SLSO’s institutional capacity and helped shape the future of this orchestra. Maintaining a high technology standard is vital to the ongoing success of the SLSO. Thanks to the Berges Family Foundation’s insightful support, the SLSO has made important technology improvements, like upgrading cybersecurity and acquiring new digital tools, which will improve the concert experience for patrons at Powell Hall and make the institution more efficient.


The foundation’s support has transformed how musicians, staff, patrons, and partners use technology to advance the SLSO. These transformations will have an outstanding impact on SLSO priorities including artistic achievement, educational and community outreach, and realizing a future where technology tools further expand access to music.


Today, as our world is being reshaped by the coronavirus (COVID-19), these enhancements have made it possible for the SLSO team to work safely, efficiently, and effectively, and adapt to the challenges of working remotely. This gift has enabled collaboration in ways that will reshape how we work, even beyond the crisis.


The Berges Family Foundation’s vision and dedication to arts institutions like the SLSO is driven by a deep belief in the power of the arts to bring people together. The Bergeses see the arts as crucial to a life that is connected, meaningful, and enriched by expression. For them, art is not only a bridge between individuals but also a catalyst for creating social strength, deepening education, and promoting a sense of community, all while expanding our feelings of joy.


The Berges Family Foundation supports the institutions and organizations, like the SLSO, that make St. Louis a great place to live, visit, work, and invest. The SLSO is deeply grateful for the support of the Berges Family Foundation as we continue to make St. Louis a vibrant place for the arts and to advance our mission of enriching lives through the power of music.


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