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The Phoenix Symphony Receives Getty Education and Community Investment Grant from League of American Orchestras to Expand its B-Sharp Music Wellness Program

"GettyUnique Re-Granting Program from Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation Highlights Orchestras’ Response to Community Needs through Educational, Health and Wellness, Social Service, and Neighborhood Residency Programs

Phoenix, AZ (November 27, 2012) – The Phoenix Symphony is one of just twenty-two American orchestras to receive a first-year Getty Education and Community Investment Grant.  The grant was awarded as a new and emerging work to expand the orchestra’s B-Sharp Music Wellness program, targeting the homeless population of urban Phoenix, and is recognition of The Phoenix Symphony’s innovation and dedication to increasing its relevance to the community.

“The mission of The Phoenix Symphony embraces feeding the souls of our residents through the joy of music.  At a time when symphonies nationwide are seeking new ways to serve communities, B-Sharp allows The Phoenix Symphony to reach out to those most in need of all facets of healing.  It is a conscious effort to identify not just underserved, but neglected, sectors of the community who would benefit from music wellness experiences,” says Jim Ward, President and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony.

“More and more orchestras all over the country are finding innovative ways to help address community needs through music,” said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen.  “The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation’s commitment to encourage these important   educational and community engagement programs is a great boost to orchestras’ ability to provide community relevance beyond the concert hall,” he commented.

For The Phoenix Symphony, our collaboration with two well established homeless service providers, Circle the City and the Lodestar Day Resource Center, sets the foundation for the B-Sharp Music Wellness program in addressing the needs of the homeless by providing the joy of music paired with interactive, experiential concerts and music-making to support physical, emotional, cognitive and social changes for participants.  Symphony musicians will perform at each facility, providing an engaging program that ranges from soothing classical strings to Americana jazz along with an instrument “petting zoo,” allowing participants to engage hands-on and “up-close” with a variety of instruments.  Each performance sets the stage for a broad range of personal experiences within the seven elements of wellness, social/cultural, physical, environmental, occupational, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.

A prerequisite for qualifying orchestras was the existence of partnerships with local cultural and/or community organizations, such as schools or social service providers.  This year’s grants, part of a new three-year, $1.5 million re-granting program from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, will fund both new and established innovative programs including: long-term in-school partnerships and afterschool programs; health and wellness initiatives in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes; and programs for the underserved and underprivileged, including incarcerated youth.  

A total of $425,000 was awarded for the first year grants, with individual grant amounts ranging from $14,500 to $37,500 per orchestra.45% of the grants were awarded to educational programs, 43% to health and wellness programs, and 12% to those serving other populations.  

Applicants for the grants came from every orchestra budget group.  The initial 204 applicants were narrowed by an independent advisory panel to 44 semi-finalists; all were then judged on six criteria:  the degree of innovation and relevance to community needs; the orchestra’s capacity to deliver; appropriateness to mission and community; appropriateness and strength of partnership(s); ability to assess outcomes; and professional development for musicians and staff.

The recipients for 2012-13 are:  
Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, California Symphony Orchestra, The Central Ohio Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony Association, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, Sphinx Virtuosi, and St. Louis Symphony (further details here).  A list detailing each grantee’s program can be found here.
The Phoenix Symphony is Arizona’s largest performing arts non-profit organization and its only full-time, professional orchestra.  We serve nearly 300,000 people annually, with more than 200 concerts and presentations throughout Greater Phoenix and Central Arizona.  The annual season, from September through June, features a wide variety of programming including regular series of Classics, Symphony Pops, Chamber Orchestra and Family concerts, as well as special community presentations celebrating various holidays and area events.  In addition, we engage over 65,000 students and adults through the Symphony’s K-12 education, community and music wellness initiatives.  

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards.  Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments.  Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners.  Visit to learn more.


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