Most RCW residencies have been with schools or colleges, but here are some other possibilities!
ARTS IN THE MARKETPLACE
For three years the Renaissance City Winds held an “Arts in the Marketplace” residency, co-sponsored by the Rouse Company, a mall developer, and the National Endowment for the Arts. This took place at Greengate Mall, outside of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Northway Mall, in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. The intent of this project was for classical music to be “discovered” by people in their typical activity cycle of working, shopping, and being at home. It worked; many people who found us in this way signed up for our mailing list and attended our regular concerts for years afterwards. From the Rouse Company’s point of view, it was excellent public relations and a comparatively low-cost way to attract more people people to the mall. If you are the marketing director for a retail center, consider designing such a program for your site! If you’re a traditional arts presenter, an outreach concert in a retail center might be just the way to find and attract new audiences to your regular concerts.
PUBLIC RADIO RESIDENCY
As part of Meet The Composer’s Pittsburgh New Residency, one of the four community hosts was WQED-FM, Pittsburgh’s classical music station. Extended with outside funding, five years of collaborative activity between the Winds and WQED-FM included the recording of concerts, interviews with artists and students involved with the project, writing and recording station ID music, and producing programs. Since chamber music takes place in intimate spaces with limited seating, radio is the ideal medium to reach much larger audiences.
SENIOR CITIZEN PROGRAMS
The Winds have been featured in several Elderhostel Residencies, where the ensemble has presented lecture-recitals, given concerts, and had discussion sessions about classical or contemporary music. As an outreach component of residencies sponsored by other organizations (colleges or community presenters) the group has also given performances in senior citizen centers and retirement communities. If you’re a presenter, this is a great way for your organization to reach an audience that may not be able to attend your regular concerts, especially if they’re at night or not in a handicapped-accessible performance space.