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Community Engagement

Music has the power to unite communities.  It brings us together in celebration, comforts us in loss, and surrounds us with joy. 

Each year fourth-of-July concerts downtown and at Blossom Music Center celebrate our nation’s founding, and holiday concerts each December bring together family and friends in the spirit of the season.  When the community celebrated Cleveland’s Bicentennial and the opening of a new baseball stadium, The Cleveland Orchestra was there. Together, the Orchestra and the community commemorated the fallen and saluted first responders in the Concert for 9/11 on Public Square.  And our recently launched “At Home”neighborhood residency program immerses the entire Orchestra in the Cleveland community, neighborhood by neighborhood, for a variety of activities — making connections, making friends, and making music, together.

Serving the community forms the core of The Cleveland Orchestra’s mission today and is the foundation of our vision for the future as we approach The Cleveland Orchestra’s centennial in 2018 and look to the years beyond.  While we proudly carry Cleveland’s name around the world, our most important work is here at home.

The Star-Spangled Spectacular

Public Square Concert - Trina StrubleEach summer, The Cleveland Orchestra, with the support of a host of community partners, presents a free concert of patriotic favorites and popular classical repertoire in downtown Cleveland.  An annual tradition since 1990, the Public Square concert attracts up to 80,000 people to downtown Cleveland and ends with a spectacular display of fireworks set against the Cleveland skyline. 

To learn more about our Public Square concerts, click here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert
and Community Service Awards

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration SoloistsEach January, The Cleveland Orchestra commemorates Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with a free community concert.  First performed in 1980, this concert features The Cleveland Orchestra, a community chorus of volunteer singers, and a winner of the national Sphinx competition for Black and Latino string players. Classical music, gospel, and spirituals mix together to affirm Dr. King's dream of justice and a fair society of all.  A highlight of the concert each year is the presentation of the MLK Jr. Community Service Awards by The Cleveland Orchestra in cooperation with the City of Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.  These awards, begun in 2002, recognize an adult, a youth and a business/organization that exemplifies the spirit and ideals of Dr. King.

The celebration continues on Martin Luther King Day, with a free community open house in Severance Hall honoring the life, leadership, and vision of Dr. King.

To learn more about our MLK Jr. Celebration Concert and Open House, click here.

"At Home" Neighborhood Residencies — Strengthening Community

The Cleveland Orchestra's "At Home" neighborhood residency program was inaugurated during in May 2013 with a week of performances and events in Cleveland's Gordon Square Arts District, presented in partnership with businesses, community groups, and local organizations.

The goals of the Neighborhood Residency program include working with local partners to bring increased visibility and vibrancy to greater Cleveland's neighborhoods, offering more people the opportunity to experience performances by the Orchestra and its musicians, and to collaborate with local community partners around arts and cultural activities.

To learn more about our Neighborhood Residency program, click here. 

Other Performances and Programs
in the Community Throughout the Year

The Cleveland Orchestra goes on the road to meet the greater Ohio community through annual orchestral concerts in venues in Akron and Oberlin.

In addition, many of the Orchestra’s education programs have homes in the community, including:

Music Study Groups meet weekly in selected libraries and community centers on Cleveland’s east and west sides for in-depth explorations of the Orchestra’s music.  Learn more.

Learning Through Music (LTM) partner schools throughout the greater Cleveland area use music and the arts to support the general classroom curriculum and meet state standards.  Learn more.

Musical Rainbows on the Road in venues throughout the community help The Cleveland Orchestra introduce very young children to the instruments of the orchestra and complement our Musical Rainbow series in Severance Hall.

PNC Grow Up Great Musical Neighborhoods programs in select Cleveland pre-k classrooms uses music to teach important school-readiness skills and immerses young children in the joy of music and music-making.  Learn more.