The Curtis Institute of Music is offering a new independent study course to its students, called the Community Engagement Program, designed to aid its gifted young musicians in creating innovative approaches to classical music performance. As the classical music field becomes increasingly competitive and audiences shrink in size, Curtis' program underscores the importance of creativity and entrepreneurial skills, and aids students in forging new pathways to professional success. Each semester, a number of students are given opportunities to carry out a unique project from conception to execution. They are working closely with mentors in the field, including two-time Grammy Award-winning ensemble eighth blackbird, which has long been a leader in testing new models to present classical music. After a four-year period, Curtis expects that over half of its students will have participated in this program, and that the ideas generated will prove influential to Curtis' performances and curriculum. The institute will also survey audiences about their experiences at these performances, taking constituent feedback into account for the first time. 1
- 1. Management grants, through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, were awarded through 2013 following which a new funding category, Advancement grants, was introduced to support substantial long-term organizational development.