The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan Awards Grant to A2SO for A TASTE OF MUSIC

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is happy to announce that the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan will support a three-year project, A Taste of Music: The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Goes to Market," with a $50,000 grant.

"A Taste of Music" combines two outstanding components of the A2SO's Education and Outreach programming - its Ensembles composed of professional A2SO musicians, and its Instrument Petting Zoos. With the A2SO's long-time commitment to serve Washtenaw, Western Wayne, Livingston and Oakland counties, this project will feature a total of 12 free outdoor concerts each summer in six area Farmers Markets. In addition to small ensemble performances, each "Taste of Music" Program will include an A2SO Instrument Petting Zoo, where children of all ages will have the opportunity to try out real violins, cellos, flutes, clarinets, trumpets and trombones. Child-sized instruments along with trained "zookeepers" ensure that even the smallest child will have a successful first instrumental experience.

With the growing understanding that performing arts organizations and classical music institutions must provide more accessible programming in order to reach new audiences and maintain existing interest in this genre, the A2SO has partnered with area farmers' markets which are not only essential gateways to fresh, healthy local food, but community gathering places for a variety of social, cultural andeducationalactivities. Farmers'marketsprovidetheA2SOaforumtoreachdiversepopulations as well as to provide meaningful work for its professional musicians.

The A2SO will also, as part of its community commitment, offer up to 700 complementary concert tickets to up tomarket customers who are SNAP Bridge Card users, and at participating sites, beneficiaries of the Fair Food Network's Double Up Food Bucks Program, which also receives support from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. (DECIDE IF WE WANT THE FOLLOWING) Double-up food bucks provides incentives to encourage healthier choices for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, directly benefiting low-income families and local farmers.

A2SO Board President Bob Gates notes, "We are not just a Saturday night main stage orchestra. We're of the community. We're in the schools, retirement centers, day care centers and libraries-and now in farmers' markets." Executive Director Mary Steffek Blaske concurs, "We want people to know that wherever you are in your life, and wherever you live, there is an A2SO concert for you. Music is for everybody."

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is a premier regional orchestra offering live, symphonic music for audiences of diverse ages and classical music experiences. The A2SO touches the lives of over 76,000 people every year, from tiny tots to seasoned citizens in venues ranging from the Michigan Theater to Hill Auditorium, as well as schools in the five-county area including Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Dexter District Libraries, and senior citizen centers. For concert or educational programming information, contact the A2SO by calling (734) 994-4801 or emailing info@a2so.com.




More On: Symphony, Foundation, Education, District.

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