Cleveland, OH
Grant Cycle:
Type of Grant:
Education, Music

CityMusic Cleveland is a non-profit professional chamber orchestra dedicated to making
classical music accessible through free concerts and innovative programming. In our current
season, CityMusic will present our annual Clurie Bennis Children’s Series, 4-6 orchestral
programs and 5-10 chamber music programs, advancing access to the arts in underserved
Cleveland communities while expanding perceptions of classical music using a society-inclusive approach.
Our mission is to develop audiences and build communities through the arts by presenting the
finest quality performances of classical repertoire, eliminating the twin barriers of high-ticket
prices and unfamiliar venues, working with neighborhood leaders to enrich the cultural offerings of their communities, and providing quality arts education programs in underserved Cleveland
neighborhoods. In so doing, CityMusic Cleveland builds audiences for both the musical and
visual arts organizations in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

CityMusic’s Clurie Bennis Children’s Outreach Series is a sequence of arts education programs focused on innovative storytelling through music, theater, and dance. Each education program tells a distinctive cultural story, broadening the lens through which students experience music and the arts. The Series has been an ongoing arts programming staple in the schools we serve for nearly five years.
Our outreach program fulfills community needs by telling unique cultural stories, performed for
schools and libraries in underserved Cleveland neighborhoods. Geared towards K-4 students,
productions of the Clurie Bennis Children’s Series will serve 5 different elementary schools
including Stonebrook-White Montessori campus, a public montessori-style school in the
Glenville neighborhood (93% African American, 53% of children living in poverty), Natividad
Pagan International Newcomer’s Academy, a PK-12 school where 39% of students are refugees and many are learning English as a second language, Noble Elementary, St. Jerome’s Academy, and St.Stanislaus School in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, in which 46% of residents experience poverty.
Since its inception in 2004, CityMusic has built partnerships with communities across Northeast Ohio, bringing exceptional performances to longtime classical music lovers and first-time audience members alike.
CityMusic’s chamber orchestra is committed to representing the full diversity of the classical
canon, showcasing well-known composers alongside newly commissioned works and
overlooked historic treasures. Programs intentionally highlight pieces by BIPOC composers and women, groups historically underrepresented in classical music. By presenting music of diverse composers and performing contemporary works that fuse classical and popular styles, CityMusic aims to make classical concerts relevant and exciting for diverse audiences.
CityMusic has a strong history of using music to explore social issues, through both
commissioned works and concert programming. New music written for the orchestra has
addressed a wide range of topics, from a chamber work by Margaret Brouwer tackling bullying, to an orchestral piece depicting the plight of Cleveland refugees by Dan Visconti, to a musical commentary on the struggle for African American equality by jazz artist John Clayton. Concert programs are also built around current issues and meaningful events, such as a 2019 Holocaust Remembrance Day performance of Verdi’s Requiem commemorating the 1943 performances of the work at Theresienstadt.