Music is an important creative outlet for children and adults alike — it can bridge cultural divides and can help youth learn creative self expression. Our world may look different these days, but institutions across the country are working hard to safely produce events and online content that bring people together and help expand the reach of the arts. Carnegie Hall’s “Live with Carnegie Hall” series, as well as its recent “Music is Medicine” concert are just a few examples of the positive impact the arts still have.
Carnegie Hall hosted the “Music is Medicine” concert in December 2020 with the intent to celebrate America’s frontline health care workers and allow them to perform alongside some of America’s top musicians. The event included people from across the healthcare profession, including hospital and research lab staff. Carnegie Hall billed the event as “a platform for these modern-day heroes to showcase their musical talents, including special performances by the National Virtual Medical Orchestra and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, and a guest appearance by violinist Joshua Bell.”
Carnegie Hall has found many ways to bring live performances into our homes this past year, and in December, they also shared an online concert to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday, focusing on the seminal “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony. They joined thousands of other symphonies, musicians and music lovers who shared their own interpretations of Beethoven’s inspiring piece, with the #GlobalOdetoJoy campaign. They’ve also broadcast free live concerts specifically produced for online audiences, like the “Coast to Coast” concert featuring the United States National Youth Orchestra (NYO-USA) and NYO2, performing wherever they happen to live. Even in these difficult times, we can connect with music, albeit online and not together in a concert hall like Carnegie.
Robert F. Smith knows that music is a powerful way to inspire our young people to elevate their lives and reach their goals. Smith currently serves as the chairman of Carnegie Hall, the first African-American to hold the post. Smith has made music and the arts a core part of his philanthropic giving. The Fund II Foundation, of which Smith serves as founding director and President, is dedicated to expanding access to music education in schools across the country. He knows the great value of the arts, and the importance of getting music into more people’s lives.