Greensboro Symphony One of Seventeen Orchestras to Receive League of American Orchestras American Orchestras’ Futures Fund Grant
Greensboro, NC – Highlighting the groundswell of innovation occurring at smaller-budget orchestras and youth orchestras across the country, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (GSO) is just one of seventeen orchestras that have received $30,000 American Orchestras’ Futures Fund grants from the League of American Orchestras, made possible with the generous support of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation.
“These orchestras are in the forefront of experimentation and visionary problem-solving, and the League is proud to support this work for the benefit of the orchestra field,” commented League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “I’m grateful to the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation for enabling orchestras to incubate innovative practice, and look forward to the knowledge and research developed around these exciting initiatives.”
“We’re energized and encouraged by the momentum of our continued partnership with the League through the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund,” added Lisa Delan, Director of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation. “The initiatives by smaller-budget and youth orchestras in this round of grants represent the range of innovation, impact, and collaboration we envisioned when we approached the League. And I am personally gratified to witness the commitment by these grantees to reach diverse populations within their communities.”
$30,000 Grants, Made Possible by the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, Highlight Array of Inventive Programs Taking Place at Smaller-Budget Orchestras and Youth Orchestras – Greensboro Symphony
“We are honored to receive this national grant to help us expose at-risk youth to classical music,” said Lisa Crawford, President & CEO of the GSO. “Our aim is to inspire in these children a passion for music-making by encouraging new forms of communication and an emotional outlet via group drumming exercises. Through the investment of the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, we will be able to expand our reach into four rural North Carolina counties and reach exponentially more youth with this exciting program.”
The GSO’s nationally recognized OrKIDStra program is a two-tiered music education series featuring tailored curriculum for 600+ Guilford Child Development Head Start students and interactive, twice-weekly site-visits by GSO musicians. Both tiers build to dynamic concert experiences each spring, emphasizing literacy skills and musical expression. These interactive concerts feature a professional storyteller and GSO percussion ensemble who bring a children’s book to life through music, lead sing-a-longs, and encourage messages of diversity, inclusion, and self-worth.
OrKIDStra has been previously recognized by entities such as the National Endowment for the Arts and League of American Orchestras for its innovative structure, unique partnerships, and diverse metrics, and now reaches every Head Start center in Guilford County. Thanks to funding from the Futures Fund, GSO plans to expand this program to four additional rural counties by 2019-2020, reaching an estimated 2,000 at-risk Head Start students across five North Carolina counties.
About the League’s American Orchestras’ Future Fund Program: The Futures Fund grantees from across the country are seizing opportunities in the current environment. These include giving life to contemporary repertoire by American composers; developing imaginative concert experiences and cross-cultural artistic programming; increasing diversity and access to music education; connecting with new immigrants and underserved populations; extending reach via digital streaming initiatives; investing in valuable audience development research; and working with multiple populations in rural and urban regions. Descriptions of the initiatives supported through the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund can be found here.
The $4.5 million American Orchestras’ Future Fund program included a first round of grants for larger-budget orchestras, announced in 2017.
For this second round, smaller-budget and youth orchestras that are based in the U.S. and that are members of the League of American Orchestras were eligible to apply. An independent review panel selected the orchestras based on criteria including significant investments in organizational learning, meaningful partnerships with community organizations, and an ability to assess and adapt practices for continuous innovation.
In addition to recommending seventeen orchestras for the full two-year grant, the panel recognized the creative promise that several orchestras demonstrated and designated an additional award in the form of a seed grant for five orchestras to support their continued organizational work towards the goals outlined.
This round’s Futures Fund recipients ($30,000 grants) include:
The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (VA) – expansion of the Music Buddies mentoring program to underserved areas, where school music provision is limited or non-existent.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (MA) – The Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s mission is to give life to orchestral classics of the 20th and 21st centuries, largely by American composers, that are often overlooked in the standard repertoire.
California Symphony – launch of a pilot adult education program called Fresh Look: The Symphony Exposed, marketed in English and Spanish, with on-site live Spanish interpretation.
Central Ohio Symphony – support for a program with students at Delaware Hayes High School to include increasing student concert attendance and assessing the relevance of the symphony’s programming.
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (IL) – support for the orchestras’ Inclusion Audit to ensure that the organization is optimally inclusive and representative of Chicago’s diverse community.
Contemporary Youth Orchestra (OH) – support for building cross-sector partnerships using programs in dance, theater, and photography to address socioeconomic barriers to children’s equal access to music education.
El Paso Symphony Orchestra (TX) – support for the Tocando After School Music Project’s Feeder School Initiative providing high-quality music education, cultural awareness, and performance opportunities to elementary and middle school students.
Empire State Youth Orchestra (NY) – launch of ACCESS ESYO, an online “pay what you can” ticketing program to meet the needs of an increasingly economically diverse membership.
Evansville Philharmonic (IN) – support for audience development research: qualitative research sessions and repeating a 2017 survey to understand change resulting from newly-instituted promotions and programming.
Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra (WI) – support for the In Harmony program for youths and adults with special needs, presenting a music-therapy informed performance at special needs classrooms and adult day centers.
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (NC) – expansion of the OrKIDStra program, a music education series featuring tailored curriculum and site-visits by GSO musicians, to four rural counties, reaching an estimated 2,000 Head Start students.
Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (CA) – support for the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, assisting persons from historically underrepresented communities to succeed in auditions with U.S. orchestras
Lima Symphony (OH) – support for an initiative bringing a series of ensemble performances and discussions with a mental health facilitator to a center for at-risk youth, a mental health treatment facility, and a housing complex for people struggling with addiction.
Lubbock Symphony (TX) – development of a new concert series designed to attract new audiences; LSO will experiment with venues, lighting, staging, electronic amplification, video, narration, and attire to create an engaging atmosphere.
New Bedford Symphony (MA) – support for an assessment of the orchestra’s educational programming which will measure the impact of a concept-based arts integrated program and explore issues that arise when assessing education programs.
Project 440 (PA) – support for a creative youth development curriculum that utilizes music as a tool to teach social entrepreneurship, leadership, and service to high school musicians, and provides them with the career and life skills necessary for success, on and off the stage.
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (TX) – support for the Rising Star Fellows program, offering comprehensive support and resources to promising young African American, Hispanic, and Native American musicians from around San Antonio communities.
About the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra Founded in 1959, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (GSO) is the only fully professional orchestral ensemble in the Greater Greensboro area, touching the lives of over 100,000 Piedmont residents with its Masterworks, POPS, Chamber, Holiday and Education concerts. In its Masterworks series, the GSO features talent from around the world, from newly minted competition winners on the cusp of stardom to universally acclaimed celebrities. The POPS series shows the full diversity of the GSO by pulling from country, classic rock and Broadway genres. Through its Chamber series, the GSO gives audiences a more intimate concert experience with the artists as they perform piano and string chamber works. The GSO also continues its Keep Kids in Tune educational programming, which serves over 50,000 children throughout the Piedmont Triad.
About The League of American Orchestras The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org.