Vision: Through the power of music, Augustana Arts illuminates the soul and connects communities. In changing times, we honor the past and explore the future with a spirit of innovation.
Mission: Augustana Arts creates opportunities to inspire and educate through music.
Augustana Arts was established in 1997 as its own non-profit entity having grown out of the Augustana Lutheran Church music programs. Over the years the Augustana Concert Series was enhanced and additional programs were added, including City Strings, Stratus Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Women's Chorale, and now the Colorado Men's Chorale.
Augustana Arts produces over 20 concerts every season with a significant variety of music from a number of different performing genres including a cappella, orchestral, jazz, and more with a focus on classical/traditional music.
Outreach showcases in schools, civic gathering places, nursing facilities and elsewhere offer comfort to those who can not attend regular performances of the Augustana Arts concert series.
I'm pleased to share with you how Augustana Arts is fulfilling our mission, serving our communities and re-inventing ourselves to better accommodate changing audiences in the 21st century.
City Strings, Augustana Arts' life-changing youth music education program, continues to grow, adding another location this year, and providing enrichment to over 100 students who otherwise would never have the chance to create music with their hands and their hearts. Even as we're touching more lives than ever, our program director Caroline McCaskey is focusing on enhancing systems and processes that will allow us to grow more quickly.
Stratus Chamber Orchestra is innovating in many ways as it redefines the concert-going experience. Music Director David Rutherford has taken the orchestra to new venues such as Valor Christian High School and the Scottish Rite Temple, and commissioned two new works "At Shakespeare's Tomb" and the immersive "Kawanakajima" while re-investing in collaborations with Fairfield High School and the Denver Art Museum. In this upcoming season, Stratus will introduce a story theme that threads through each of its concerts, including collaborations with Buntport Theater and Stories on Stage, while introducing new ways to think of classical music such as a bluesy Brahms played on the harmonica.
The Augustana Concert Series is greatly expanding its appeal through top name international performers, including two nights with Canadian Brass and an evening with Chanticleer. We fully expect these to drive more attendance than any season in Augustana Arts' history, and we plan to expose these larger audiences to our full story, so we can continue to cultivate the ticket buyers, donors, and volunteers on which we depend.
Jennifer Ferguson is bringing the Colorado Women's Chorale to new heights of artistry, new venues for sharing their music, and a new complementary Colorado Men's Chorale to serve more singers and open the door to a wide range of 4 voice repertoire when the groups perform together.
While our programs continue to expand in scope and artistic ambition, I am happy to report that financially we're stronger than ever. Our ability to facilitate this growth in service and improve our foundation is largely due to the skill, efforts, innovation and collaborative talent of our Executive Director, Pete Hellyer. His strong relationships, leadership and hard work allow the artists and teachers of Augustana Arts to focus on making music and teaching. In addition to driving growth in our budget, diversifying our donor base, and taking care of countless details, Pete is implementing a new Customer Relationship Management and ticketing system that will improve our concert experience and allow us to build meaningful relationships with our ticket buyers that will have value for both sides for years to come.
For those of us who have watched and helped Augustana Arts grow over the years, our current situation is gratifying, as we thrive and optimistically look to the future. But the Augustana Arts team recognizes many of the challenges ahead - producing live music in the early 21st century is both exhilarating and often unpredictable. We depend on a donor base that is continually revising its outlook on the future and we need to develop more corporate and individual sources of giving. We need to continue to innovate, grow and further secure ourselves financially to maintain our position in the community. Our ability to achieve this depends to a great extent in our ability to attract and retain great leaders.
To all members of the Augustana Arts family - leaders, patrons, donors, supporters, participants, partners, collaborators, and volunteers - I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this organization a unique and priceless member of the Colorado arts community, and I invite you all to join us as we face the exciting challenges of the future.