Giving Back: The Orchestras Feeding America National Food Drive

If you need any further proof that orchestras are making important new connections with their communities, a recently launched program called Orchestras Feeding America should end your quest. Orchestras Feeding America is the result of a partnership between the League of American Orchestras, Participant Media, and the national organization Feeding America.
Inspired by the forthcoming film The Soloist, in which the Los Angeles Philharmonic builds a relationship with a homeless man who also happens to be a Juilliard graduate, this partnership is an amazing testament to the power of aggregation. Feeding America (formerly known as America's Second Harvest) is America's largest hunger relief organization. Participant Media is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable films. (The Kite Runner and Charlie Wilson's War are earlier efforts.) In the words of League of American Orchestras President Jesse Rosen, "The story of The Soloist reminds us that classical music has the power to sustain spirits and change lives, even under the most difficult circumstances. Our team effort with Feeding America and The Soloist gives America's orchestras a way to use that power to make an even greater difference in our communities--to feed both body and soul."

The League, with its ability to communicate with every one of America's symphony orchestras, began recruiting them to participate in this effort, and the result is the Orchestras Feeding America National Food Drive that will take place March 27-28. The League and Feeding America will provide participating orchestras with organizing materials for the drive, and orchestras will appeal to their wide body of patrons, donors, board members, volunteers, musicians, and staff to provide food. As I write this, in late February, 228 orchestras have signed on. Think about that! Think about the power of 228 symphony orchestras throughout America, from large cities and small rural communities and everything in between, to reach thousands upon thousands of people each. At least one orchestra from every one of the 50 states has signed up.

This is a truly unprecedented and wonderful program. Statistics show that one in eight people in this country doesn't know where the next meal is coming from--an already bad situation made worse by the current economy. Orchestras are proving that they do not just take resources out of the community. They know how to give back as well.

If you want to know if an orchestra near you is involved, and how you can participate, click here.
February 27, 2009 3:31 PM | | Comments (1)



Thank you soooo much for organizing this wonderful initiative.This is just yet another example of the "Power of Music"! Kudos to you,
Jesse, and the League. Surely this proves the obvious need for a Secretary of the Arts!

Won't you please pass this online petition to all you know

Thank you,
jacqui Danilow
Bassist at the Met


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