“Many arts organizations have realized if they want younger and/or more clientele, they’ll have to go out into their communities and get them,” writes editor Susan Elliott in a special report issued on September 10 by Musical America. “In Cool Case Studies, we focus on five organizations doing just that, in ways we think are particularly inventive. Our five cases represent one end of the education spectrum, and our conservatory listings the other. If the latter group creates arts professionals, the former creates their future audiences and improves lives in the process. The Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids program, for example, is not only creating budding virtuosos, it’s improving their academics and social and emotional lives.… The Central Ohio Symphony, annual budget of $275,000, has been working with the local courts by leading drumming circles, which help troubled teens and adults address their emotional issues. Call it percussion therapy.” Other projects in the report are the Santa Fe Opera’s program to bring children from 19 local pueblos and three reservations to watch dress rehearsals; the San Francisco Opera’s ARIA Network, which assists teaching artists; and Arizona’s Musical Instrument Museum, which has been focused on education since it opened in 2010.

Posted September 15, 2014