Jazz is an art-form too

Jazz Band BW
(Bruce Mak, Bo Berry, and friends. They don't get any cash from this organization, unfortunately.)

Corporations have so much free cash, they ought to invest in cultural groups more often, and in more cities. This group should increase their funding to the Chicago Jazz Partnership

How innovative funding transformed city's jazz scene -- chicagotribune.com:

wo years ago, several of Chicago's most famous corporations and foundations dared to invent a new model for funding the arts.

In a dramatic move, they joined forces to create an informal philanthropic consortium dedicated to supporting music. This meant, in effect, that each of these big-league organizations risked losing some of the high visibility -- or the “branding” power, in marketers' terms -- that accrues with being the sole or lead underwriter of an arts event.

More radical still, they decided to pour their resources not into safe and conventional musical outfits, such as symphony orchestras and opera companies, but into a less formally organized music that long has been an orphan when it comes to funding: jazz.

Since then, the aptly named Chicago Jazz Partnership has funneled approximately $1.5 million in cash (and nearly as much in in-kind contributions, such as production costs and musician airfares) into a music that's internationally identified with this city.

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moon over boeing

Yet, from the start, the consortium committed to a three-year trial run, leaving its admirers to wonder what happens now, as the third season commences.

A few hours before the “Made in Chicago” series launches Thursday night, current and potential members of the Chicago Jazz Partnership will convene in a closed-door meeting to plan for the future and try to woo new partners.

Furthermore, the very nature of the consortium -- in which several organizations informally commit to pooling their resources in the name of jazz -- is in flux, say its members (this year, the Chicago Jazz Partnership includes Boeing, Kraft, JP Morgan Chase, Chicago Community Trust and the Joyce Foundation, with in-kind support from United Airlines and the Fairmont Hotel).

“It's a maturing entity that's becoming more of an organization than it was before,” says Jim Newcomb, Boeing's senior manager of brand management and advertising, and an early champion of the group.

“The partnership started out as a sort of loose agreement between a bunch of interested parties who wanted to figure out how to help jazz become part of the mainstream of philanthropic support -- that was the whole goal.

”Because jazz was seen as so far out of the mainstream,“ many major funders were reluctant to touch it, says Newcomb.

such a shame - I wish there was less European 'classical' music support and more American Jazz support.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on July 25, 2007 8:19 AM.

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