Prior Happenings mailings document that less than 2% of blacks (musicians of African descent) play in major orchestras in the U. S. That data has not been updated since 2014. Less than 1% of works by (Black) composers (of the African Diaspora) are performed by these orchestras. To my knowledge, no one is tracking this same data in schools of music and no such assessment has been made on inclusion of diverse composers in music history books that students of classical music reference to inform their awareness, knowledge and professional training. Are Florence Price and Chevalier… in the curricula?
Continued Growth and Development
In recent weeks/months I’ve attended seminars on budgeting, fundraising, organization building, advisory board recruitment, grant sources, etc.
One of the things we’re advised in budgeting consulting is to envision big – so it can be funded. I need no coaxing in that area. I see a series of concerts where orchestra and even chorus will perform – the works have already been composed and published – in some cases, for centuries. Multiply the cost of employing one, or perhaps 2 pianists (as in our inaugural event) by 30 or forty musicians in an orchestra/chorus, and cost (budget) increases, naturally.
On another level, when you give, you offer opportunities for musicians who have studied and achieved, to be paid for their investment of study/talent and you help ensure that they enjoy professional opportunities building their careers. There is no lack of highly qualified talent in all demographics to perform at our events.
Beyond that, talented film/camera, sound & visual tech personnel are employed to record/document these innovative events that we’re planning and producing -whose product could become sources of sustained earnings for the organization - think Social Enterprise. Other essential support personnel are employed through our events. So, it’s about much more than the musicians and the composers – the primary focus at Presenting….
I personally know of many highly talented living composers whose exciting compositions are just waiting to be heard. Jazz pianist/conductor/composer Patrice Rushen (of Forget Me Nots/Men In Black and Number One fame), for example, shared with me exciting orchestral works that she has composed. So, the vision of producing these performances is no stretch for me.
Our Reach is Inclusive, beyond Music – which connects us.
As of this release, we have received $0 in institutional, organizational grants - except one from AMAAD – an organization who tends to the needs of, among others, neighbors who have recently been released from incarceration and who have some of the same needs of those of us who have not been incarcerated. Our engagement of audiences is across the board. Our accomplishments have been funded by generous support from committed individual donors, like you, who trust us to execute this mission and its vision. We’re indebted and supported with gratitude, humility.
There are big things ahead of us, but enough of all that. Please give if you are so inclined and ask others you know who support our mission to give, too; let’s use social media for social betterment/good.
Executive, Artistic Director