From weekly live streamed music concerts and family jam sessions to virtual book clubs and art gallery tours, Strathmore has transitioned to find ways to connect audiences with the arts and with each other online. They have coordinated online teaching and mentoring for musicians at the Montgomery County Youth Orchestra and the Strathmore Children’s Chorus to ensure the young musicians continue to receive one on one attention and are able to rehearse and play together. Working with MCPS, they have prepared arts materials and video content to round out student’s work at home.
“A commitment to community has been part of our core mission since the beginning, and that doesn’t stop with a pandemic,” said Lauren Campbell, Strathmore’s Director of Education. “We understand that people need to feel connected and engaged for their basic well-being. So, we worked as fast as we could to put out live content online that folks can enjoy together.”
Supporting artists during this time is also important to Strathmore. Now in its third week, Live from the Living Room is an 8-week concert series featuring current and former Artists in Residence at Strathmore. The Wednesday evening 20-minute concert is streamed via Strathmore’s Facebook page from the artist’s home. The series includes Grammy-nominated hip hop artist Christylez Bacon (April 22, 7:30pm) and jazz musician Mark Meadows (May 13, 7:30pm).
“Strathmore is committed to maintaining our support of young, local musicians as we have for the past 15 years,” says Betty Scott, Founder and Director of the AIR program. “Instead of gathering on Wednesday evenings in the Mansion at Strathmore we’re now able to transport these talented musicians from their living room directly to yours.”
The popular Saturday morning Family Jam Sessions that take place at the Mansion will now livestream via Strathmore’s Facebook page. Sessions include Discover Bluegrass Music with Brad Kolodner (April 11, 10:15am), Discover Folk Music with Maureen Andary (April 18, 10:15am), and Discover Soul Music with Cecily Bumbray (April 25, 10:15am).
Exhibitions, Workshops, and Tours will be held via Zoom. They are free but participants must register online. Following the success of the curator’s tour on March 28 of the visual arts exhibition at the Mansion, Strathmore plans to live stream forthcoming exhibitions. The Artists in Fiction Book Club will discuss B.A. Shapiro’s literary thriller The Art Forger (April 15, 3pm) and a Creative Writing Workshop (April 16, 7pm).
In order to continue student programming as part of the Bloom initiative, Strathmore has also been working to provide the MCPS arts office with a library of over 100 videos and instructional guides that will give teachers the opportunity to enrich their distance learning lessons with fascinating and surprising topics developed and performed by Strathmore Artists in Residence and our student ensembles.
For more information please visit www.strathmore.org