Successful music programs in institutional settings require the following:
Because host venues and user populations vary greatly, Carnegie Hall is committed to exploring the full spectrum of programming possibilities, from single events and short-term projects to artist residencies and multi-year partnerships. Certain steps and principles apply whether you are planning a series of single-concert events or a long-term partnership.
How do you create a program that relates to your audience? Musical Connections artist Camille Zamora shares one idea.
Familiarity with the host venue—the resident population, the staff, the physical facilities, and its programmatic goals—is the starting point for effective community work. Start by collecting basic data on the venue, including the characteristics of the resident population, the staff, and the physical space where your program will take place. We use a standard form.Download PDF: Host Venue Initial Contact Form
If you are planning something more ambitious than a single performance, be prepared to address the following issues from the perspective of the venue staff. Their concerns and questions will help guide your programming decisions.
Those questions and your answers will lay the groundwork for successful programming. Each venue, each project, and each circumstance will generate different goals and outcomes.
Musical Connections performances help to take care of the caretakers; they affect venue staff as well as those sitting in the audience.
You’ve established a relationship with one or more host venues and their parent agencies, you’ve recruited a great roster of artists, and you’ve planned and successfully executed one or more projects. But your work is not done yet: Integral to the success of this kind of community work is extensive reflection, sharing, assessment, and evaluation. This important work, between and among your host venues' residents and staff, the staff of governing agencies, your roster artists, and your own staff, is built into the Musical Connections concept.
Properly handled, whether by your own staff, outside consultants, or a combination, evaluation and assessment give you feedback on what works and what doesn’t, provide artists with professional development to give them support and enhance their performance, and yield essential data so you can communicate effectively about your program both internally and to the wider world of stakeholders and funders.
Band leader Chris Washburne says, "Every single performance, I am now using things that I've learned from Musical Connections—I attend to my audience more."
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