“The past is reinvented and becomes the future. But the lineage is everything.”
― Philip Glass, Words Without Music: A Memoir
iL Ponte - the bridge
Bridging Community with Legacy through Music and Spaces
Our mission is to record an ongoing documentation of a travelling concert campaign, presenting a short residency in each given community culminating in a final concert that involves both traditional masterworks and site-specific musical works commissioned with the intent of engaging an interactive audience facilitating community pride, togetherness and the re-dedication of a specific physical space.
We envision communities that have a legacy to share receiving a site-specific commissioned piece(s) of music in addition to an episode on a documentary series to capture what the community believes to be at the core of their values. We envision the emergence of intercultural healing and the empowerment of a community through a shared musical experience around a renewed vision for a physical space as a representation of the community and their values. We envision capturing this in music and film so the community may have a tangible legacy to hand down to subsequent generations.
wCommunity: Through music making and artistic expression
wInclusivity: Let anyone be involved regardless of age, language, race or musical experience
w Investment: Individuals and corporations invest time, labor and resources to rebuild relationships in their community, from the inside out
wPride: Coming together to celebrate what makes us strong
w Demonstrating: Through the commissioned work(s) and documentary series, imparting the community’s legacy to future generations
The Community impact:
w Give a community a renewed sense of pride of their core values
w An artistic outlet for people to come together to engage in communal artistic expression
wGive a generation a tangible legacy to pass on to future generations (commissioned music and documentary)
w Inspire communities to become cultural leaders despite obstacles
The Educational impact:
w What classical music does for the brain and the emotions – way of communication
w Inform audiences (community) of importance of music as way to share human experience
w Demonstrate by sharing classical composers to show how legacy is “handed down” through music
wTeach how to listen to classical music with a greater understanding of a composer and the experience they are aiming to transmit to the audience
wCreative thinking: What legacy is our community building to pass on to future generations
wInteractive audience member: What it is and how to be it
About il Ponte:
il Ponte founder and CEO Florrie Marshall was inspired by her childhood memories of Grandma “Lewi,” with her heavy music score in tow, taking Florrie every December to the community orchestra performing Handel’s Messiah in a Sing-Along with the audience. Florrie also recalls from her teenage years attending the shows of her oldest brother who played drums in a rock and roll band. Her favorite part was when everyone pulled out their cell phone lights, and began to sing along with the performers on stage. The majorities of these audiences had little to no musical training, and were simply joining along out of sheer passion for a “communal” artistic experience.
Classical music has long maintained its position as an elitist activity, where only the wealthiest or most sophisticated in a society may look on. Consider the possibilities when a composer crafts a work to include a musically-illiterate audience in a performance, for the sake of sharing in the creation of musical art. This concert is where ticket-holders become co-authors of the stories of modern composers.
Florrie is inspired to challenge the preconceived ideas of classical music concerts by including audiences, regardless of musical training and informing them of the impact that music has on the shared human experience. By amending the traditional experience of the classical music concert by making it accessible to an interactive audience, Florrie aims to re-imagine the “classical concert” where the audience will be given the chance to co-create, and by doing so, change the meaning of attending a classical music concert.
il Ponte will host a competition for composers who wish to be involved by composing works for an interactive audience with a “characteristic theme.” The competition will accept applications that include: musical samples, written statements and in-person interviews from composers who wish to participate. Composers must show a passion for this type of opportunity driven by promoting cultural healing and inspiring community impact.
The re-dedication of a physical space is a crucial element to the impact of il Ponte. Our aim is to choose a physical structure that is culturally relevant and determinative of the “characteristic theme” for a given city of our concert campaign. We hope this concert campaign will provide a new way of documenting history that records more than dry facts and words on a page. Our aim is to capture the emotional content of a given structure or building, as representative of its cultural significance, through musical dialect. As music is the only language that has been proven to transcend geography, religion and the greatest of cultural divides, through a lasting artistic contribution I aim to redefine the narrative of hope within a community by acknowledging the resilience and cultural leadership it assumes weather by choice or by unexpected happenstance. I will serve as a new type of ambassador, or bridge, facilitating artistic responses from gifted composers to present the concert as a dedication to a given structure and to the community which it represents.
To contextualize this concept, here is a short list of the places I have in my heart that I would like to begin with:
w Pilot “Transformation” Episode: Saint James Place, Great Barrington, MA
w “Resilience” Episode: Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC
w “Bravery” Episode: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Church Creek, MD
w “Legacy” Episode: The Obama Center and Library, Chicago, IL
I believe the approach of inclusivity leads to empowering communities to facilitate healing as well as causing individuals to take pride in coming together in places where politics, race or other factors may otherwise become divisive. Across the nation, those who become united through music, regardless of training or background, celebrate the diversity and commonality of our humanity through the musical experience. This is to be celebrated, documented and shared.
*(Videographer to document all steps in the process to assemble final documentary materials)
wChose a community and a culturally relevant structure/physical space within it
wDiscuss concepts and community receptiveness with key organizing members
w Hold composition competition for composers who want to collaborate on site-specific commission:
a) Representative of the structure
b) Representative of the community and their characteristic theme, such as resilience, transformation, legacy, leadership etc.
c) Designed for an interactive audience where no prior knowledge or training in classical music is required to be an engaged part of the creation process, during the live concert
wPut on a mid-project fundraising Gala for community to come together, and bring their friends that will showcase:
a) Visiting professional musicians
b) Specially selected composer with a small version of an interactive audience work to spark interest and intrigue
w Concert Campaign Residency (Duration: 1 week) which will include:
a) Educational outreach to community centers and schools
b) Foster discussions between communities and music professionals on topics such as:
w Pursuing music in college
w Becoming and living as a professional musician
w The history and legacy of major composers and how they used their music to foster social change
c) Host an open discussion with community and composer(s) to discuss how the physical structure and the core values are represented through the compositions
d) Host open rehearsals as a teaching tool to educate audiences on how music at the professional level is prepared, and to demonstrate the respect, flexibility and collaboration needed when performing chamber music
e) Directly preceding the final concert, hold a “dress rehearsal” for the audience to practice their interactive parts for the final performance.
w The community is gifted with a commissioned work(s) with a life-long dedication to the physical structure, as well as the musical representation of their core values. They will also have the opportunity to feature their activities and collaborations in the documentary series, however and whenever it has the opportunity to be “aired” or shared (through online platforms or specials series etc.). Our commissioned works will act as the soundtrack for the “episode.”
Our aim is to help a community document and share their legacy. We know that sharing is contagious, we want to engage as many aspects of the community as possible. At the heart of our efforts is convincing individuals and businesses to “invest” in this process promoting a sense of building, recording and passing down a community legacy, resulting in a greater sense of pride within a community. Our funding will come from different areas of the community including: the network of non-profit organizations that already exist in the community, individual supporters as well as business sponsors who wish to have an impact on their community.
The importance of non-profit organizations to the impact of a community is unmeasurable. In a way, the collection of nonprofit groups acts as a mirror into the soul of the community, revealing what it most ardently wishes to see in itself. il Ponte intends to facilitate the networking of non-profit organizations in the given community by offering non-profit Open House “information booth” spots during one day of the concert campaign, available by purchase or local sponsorship for a community “show and tell.” We intend to foster building a web from the inside out – connecting people from all walks of life, within and across communities to unite for social action.
w Raise awareness: Come introduce yourself and your organization to community members, businesses and other organizations that may not know you or your vision
w Connect Efforts: Share your ideas and collaborate for the greater community good
w Wish to volunteer for il Ponte on behalf of your organization, or invest your support into the concert campaign for your town?
w Have the name of your organization in the credits of this episode! Give your organization the chance to be a part of the bigger picture.
Everyone wants to turn on the “good news,” and wants a positive neighborhood and community for their children to grow up in. But, as an individual, how can you or your family make a positive difference? We will appeal to the individual’s desire to be involved in an effort greater than their singular influence.
w Be an interactive audience member in a classical music concert! *No experience required
w Share with your community a sense of pride and belief in the community’s legacy
w Take advantage of the educational aspects during the concert campaign
w Join in discussions on the new face of classical music with composers from around the nation
w Come meet the people in your town who are looking to make a difference
Everyone wants to be known for something positive. Become the “big business” that cares for the people. Let your company’s goodwill be seen through your tax-deductible charitable giving to il Ponte’s concert campaign in your town, and let your business’ generosity show that you are here to support the collective legacy of your community.
w Invest into something that will outlive a single contribution!
w Meet your company’s capacity to render corporate giving
w Contact us to discuss ways of giving that align with the concerns of your company
w Display corporate social responsibility in a way that promotes the legacy of your community through collective artistic experiences
Celebrity support can carry a large impact when it comes to furthering a message, or simply being recognized by a larger audience. It would be ideal to have the “publicity endorsement” of one celebrity figure per il Ponte residency whose values align with ours. (For example: Ellen DeGeneres or Oprah Winfrey)
Sample Budget: *Single il Ponte residency over the course of one year
$2,000 | Initial travel and accommodations for il Ponte representative to travel to the selected site and meet with key representatives to discuss the concert campaign
$10,000 | Create online platform for composition competition, and for consultant fees to my composition mentors to advise me on running a competition/bring in a panel of judges
$2,000 |Cash prize for selected composers
$??? |Gala event costs – depending on variable factors
- Travel for il Ponte representatives and guest musicians
- Catering and event-specific details
$4,000 | Per guest musician, not including travel and accommodations, for skills as residency lecturer, guest performer and community educator
$10,000 | Fee for videographer to capture, compile, edit and produce video content to create individual “episodes”
Total $28,000 with known variables
Why Charleston South Carolina?
-History of the church, and demonstration of resilience
-I also envision having cross disciplinary art forms contributing to the event...representing through visual art, dance and a myriad of additional forms.
Our commissioned works to be soundtrack for the “episode”
-Number of NPs in a given town
-CSR and Millenials?