Page 13 - Common Chords Grant Rapids Final Report

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achieving project goals & outcomes
page 13
The Minnesota Orchestral Association used multiple tools to measure the impact of
the Common Chords project on participants and the broader Grand Rapids
community. These included:
Observation of each event.
Gathering community feedback through comment boards at nine events.
Surveying the Grand Rapids steering committee, key contacts at
partnering organizations, Minnesota Orchestra musicians and staff.
Focus group with participating Minnesota Orchestra musicians and staff.
We worked with consultant Christa Treichel, Ph.D., of Cooperative Ventures, to
analyze this feedback, evaluate how the program reached its original goals and
determine what could be improved for future Common Chords weeks. A summary of
these findings follows:
Goal I: To re-imagine how classical music can be presented in ways that are
meaningful for a wide variety of people.
As the comments below demonstrate, the goal of engaging different segments of the
community in a meaningful way was achieved through the Grand Rapids Common
Chords project. Many people participated in the events offered and engaged in the
experience on various levels—interacting with musicians, finding ways to attend
other Common Chords events, and even choosing to get involved with the local
symphony. Community comments included:
“The Invest Early Kinder Konzert… reached an underserved early childhood
audience.”
“The ‘flash mob’ participation by the high school choir with the Orchestra was very
cool and emotional.”
“Watching wheelchair-bound senior citizens position themselves in the hallways at
the Catholic Church to hear a mini-concert by the two ensembles was inspirational.”
“The concert at St. Jo’s Church reached a low income audience as well as others
who dropped in.”
Goal II: To engage the entrepreneurship and talents of Minnesota Orchestra
musicians, enabling them to interact with community members in new ways.
When the Minnesota Orchestra musicians had the opportunity to connect with
community members outside of the performance experience, people felt honored—
honored to engage with esteemed musicians, honored to be listened to, and honored
that their community was chosen for this opportunity. This finding is illustrated by the
following comment:
“I did not expect the Orchestra members to be such real, approachable people, nor
did I expect they would take such enjoyment and delight from being in Grand
Rapids.”
Goals for Common Chords
To re-imagine how classical
music can be presented in
ways that are meaningful for
a wide variety of people.
To engage the
entrepreneurship and talents
of Minnesota Orchestra
musicians, enabling them to
interact with community
members in new ways.
To enhance a sense of local
leadership, through new
partnerships and an
extensive period of
collaborative planning.
Anticipated outcomes
We look forward to
challenging many
preconceived notions of
classical music and
orchestral musicians as elite
or disconnected from
mainstream life.
We look forward to rich
interactions between
people in partner
communities and the
musicians of the Minnesota
Orchestra.
It is our ultimate goal that
these interactions would
create a sense of new
connections and possibilities
– both in the local
community as well as our
organization.