In 1961 discussions were begun for a summer venue for the New York Philharmonic at Saratoga Spa State Park. Local civic, cultural, and legislative leaders were galvanized into action. Within a week they held their first meeting; within a month they had won the support of State Conservation Commissioner, and begun discussions with both the Philharmonic and New York City Ballet. The group funded start-up costs out of their own pockets. Then came the more formidable challenge of demonstrating community-wide support to foundations and philanthropists whose backing would be critical.