How better to spend an afternoon than with music, conversation and lunch in beautiful spaces filled with literature and learning?
For Culture Saves, I’ve been organizing music performances for several years now to inspire people, restore hope and unite different communities through the arts. And, as a violinist in the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (aka Washington National Opera Orchestra), I’ve performed and collaborated with international artists in my own events.
With shared goals of uniting people and for the love of the arts, Culture Saves partnered with Iona Senior Services and Interactivity Foundation for a series of noontime events this past spring at various DC Public Libraries.
Through Iona Senior Services, these events catered to DC residents age 60+ but were open to all adults. The Spring Concert, Conversation and Lunch Series started with a 30-minute music program before breaking into group discussions facilitated by Interactivity Foundation over boxed lunch.
The West End, Georgetown, Cleveland Park and Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Libraries each hosted an event. I organized short concerts and spoke briefly on the history of the featured instruments, the composers and the pieces. We presented music from periods ranging from Bach to modern American compositions (including my own Con Spero) to romantic Latin American classic songs to Piazzolla’s tangos. The musicians – all from the Kennedy Center – were cellist Igor Zubkovsky, bassoonists Joseph Grimmer and Samuel Blair, baritone Jose Sacin, clarinetist Benjamin Chen, and me on the violin.
According to Iona Senior Services Education and Wellness Program Manager Lena Frumin, the conversations drew some participants to this series. Interactivity Foundation Fellow Ieva Notturno organized the roundtable discussions on topics including “the future of the arts and society” and “the relationship of the arts to community, loneliness, and mental well-being”.
Back by popular demand, we organized the summer series. We kicked off the Summer Concert, Conversation and Lunch Series on June 13th. Our next event will be on Friday, July 12th at the Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library. It will feature the mandolin and guitar duo Musalliance which offers virtuoso interpretations of classical, international, and folk favorites.
There are over 70 people already registered to that event!
You can register for our future events at www.aroundtowndc.org