on the record: May 2008 Archives
I wonder if there's something in
the water in
Less than a month from now a remarkable event will take
I have written continuously about symphony orchestras and community engagement. I keep saying that the biggest change in the behavior of orchestras around the country in the past decade or so is that they are re-examining their relationships with their communities, expanding those relationships so that they are so much more than givers of concerts - although of course those concerts are and will always be at the center of what they are. But orchestras must be more than givers of subscription concerts - they must be meaningful to a wide range of people, many of whom may never actually attend those concerts. From a time when community programs started with the hope that they might increase attendance, they have become programs with a different goal - a goal of the symphony orchestra being a true community resource.
A major element of the League of American Orchestras'
strategic plan concerns an oft-misunderstood concept that we call "achieving
civic stature." Simply put, it refers to an orchestra reaching a point in its
community where the entire community views it as a resource of value, something
central to the life of that community.
Even more simply put, it refers to orchestras finding ways to be of
relevance to people who may never come to a subscription concert. I believe that over the past ten to fifteen
years, this area represents one of the most significant changes in the behavior
of orchestras in
One of the really interesting issues that I keep coming
across as I visit a wide range of symphony orchestras in