The education and community engagement programs of the Omaha Symphony reach nearly 30,000 participants each year. These programs are as diverse and varied as the concerts performed in our regular series, and are, more often than not, performed outside of the concert hall, in the schools, churches, and public spaces found within the hearts of our neighborhood communities.
Over the past four years these programs have served more than 118,000 participants, engaging them in more than 150,000 hours of activity through more than 580 unique concerts, events, and workshops. That is an average of 29,500 participants, 37,500 hours, and 145 concerts and experiences provided to individuals from schools, churches, Boy and Girl Scout troops, after-school programs, private studios, and social service agencies each year.
Yet, as impressive as these numbers are, they do not answer the essential question behind these programs and experiences: why? Why does an organization such as the Omaha Symphony devote time, energy, and artistic resources to these efforts? What is the return on investment for the organization? For our audience and donors? For the community?
The musicians, conductors, staff, and board of the Omaha Symphony are bound by one core belief when it comes to answering the question of why? And that answer is not because these education programs promote the health and vitality of the organization itself, but because these programs and experiences contribute to the health and vitality of the community that we serve.
Our answer to “why?” is that we believe the arts, and music specifically, are a vital and instinctual need for each and every individual within our community. Music, whether enjoyed as an active listener or a musician, has a way of feeding our spirit, elevating our thoughts, and making us better human beings.
The Omaha Symphony’s education and community engagement programs strive to provide meaningful experiences for all, whether for an experienced and studied scholar, or a child just beginning to explore the world of music. The strength of our programming lies in its commitment to offering diverse experiences that engage and encourage students of all ages to participate in the creation and celebration of art, in ways that are immediate, relevant, and speak to their needs. We believe that these experiences can impact and change lives in profound and unseen ways.
(The Omaha Symphony provides educational and community programming that speaks directly to the needs of its specific constituents, whether school or community based. With seven core educational programs and community concert experiences, both locally and throughout the region, the Omaha Symphony is recognized for the breadth, depth, and diversity of its offerings.)