Unique Re-Granting Program from Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation Highlights Orchestras’ Response to Community Needs through Educational, Health and Wellness, Social Service, and Neighborhood Residency Programs

Detroit (November 28, 2012) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is one of just 22 American orchestras to receive a first-year Getty Education and Community Investment Grant. The grant was awarded to develop the DSO’s Neighborhood Residency Initiative work in health care institutions, and is recognition of the DSO’s innovation and dedication to becoming the most accessible orchestra on the planet

“The talent, versatility and commitment of our musicians are what make our Neighborhood Residency Initiative possible,” said Kareem George, Managing Director of Community Programs. “This generous support from the Getty Foundation will be transformative to our work in hospitals and care environments. Our artists will be able to continue and expand their impactful work in collaboration with music therapists as well as performance formats that serve these special populations.”

“More and more orchestras all over the country are finding innovative ways to help address community needs through music,” said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen.  “The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation’s commitment to encourage these important educational and community engagement programs is a great boost to orchestras’ ability to provide community relevance beyond the concert hall,” he commented.

The Neighborhood Residency Initiative is the largest and most successful program of its kind among American Orchestras. Sponsored by a grant from the William Davidson Foundation, the performance-based neighborhood initiative encompasses the orchestra’s entire roster of concerts, education programs, engagement activities, recitals, and senior programs which take place outside of Orchestra Hall.  A strong component of the program is health and wellness; the orchestra assists children and adults of all ages, bringing its musicians to assisted care facilities, senior centers and hospitals for performance, music therapy sessions, and personal interaction. Among the multiple partners the orchestra engages to facilitate its services are Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and other health care systems.  The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation has been providing the DSO with generous annual operating support since 1987.

A prerequisite for qualifying orchestras was the existence of partnerships with local cultural and/or community organizations, such as schools or social service providers.  This year’s grants, part of a new three-year, $1.5 million re-granting program from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, will fund both new and established innovative programs including: long-term in-school partnerships and afterschool programs; health and wellness initiatives in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes; and programs for the underserved and underprivileged, including incarcerated youth.

A total of $425,000 was awarded for the first year grants, with individual grant amounts ranging from $14,500 to $37,500 per orchestra. 45% of the grants were awarded to educational programs, 43% to health and wellness programs, and 12% to those serving other populations.

Applicants for the grants came from every orchestra budget group.  The initial 204 applicants were narrowed by an independent advisory panel to 44 semi-finalists; all were then judged on six criteria:  the degree of innovation and relevance to community needs; the orchestra’s capacity to deliver; appropriateness to mission and community; appropriateness and strength of partnership(s); ability to assess outcomes; and professional development for musicians and staff.

The recipients for 2012-13 are:

Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, California Symphony Orchestra, The Central Ohio Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony Association, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, Sphinx Virtuosi, and St. Louis Symphony (further details here).   A list detailing each grantee’s program can be found here.

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 approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards.  Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers 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 to learn more.

About the DSO:

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season. In 2011, the DSO launched its Live from Orchestra Hall HD webcast series, becoming the first orchestra in the world to live stream its full season of classical concerts for free via web and mobile devices. The DSO performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts and festivals. The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit dso.org


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