African American Community Fund Grants Dashboard


African American Community Fund Grants

Please note some of these grants were sponsorships and did not require reports, and other reports were not submitted during the specified period.


Grantee: South Bend Symphony Orchestra
Project: 2023 MLK Jr. Community Celebration Events
Amount: $3,000.00
Date Approved: 11/15/2022
Final Report Submitted: 10/13/2023

South Bend Symphony Orchestra (SBSO) received $3,000 to support the 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The new program, titled “Celebration for a King,” is a community-focused series that takes place in several area Black churches and features a collaboration between Symphony ensembles and the choirs of each congregation. The concert took place in February 2023, and was recorded and aired as a special for Juneteenth 2023 on WNIT. Music selections included those chosen by the music directors at each church along with Symphony selections that featured composers of African descent.

For the 2023 Celebration for a King events, the Symphony recorded 329 in total audience hours (number of patrons x hours of exposure to the Symphony). Success was also measured by tracking the geographical diversity of the annual concerts, helping the Symphony set goals that ensure the continued expansion and reach of programming. One success was the integration of the Symphony’s portable immersive audio system Octet with the Celebration for a King concerts. The programming featured music of composers of African decent and Octet has been displayed in multiple venues around South Bend and enjoyed by over 2,500 patrons. The most important outcome was that the church musicians became the teachers and led the way with their own traditions. The consensus was that many had never experienced the South Bend Symphony, and likely would not have if it hadn’t been for the Celebration for a King partnerships.

The main challenge in the production of these events was managing the myriad logistical challenges associated with presenting these concerts at multiple and spatially and acoustically different spaces. Each event required sound engineering and reworking of the program with the music director and choir at each church.

P.O. Box 837, South Bend, IN 46624 | 305 S. Michigan St., South Bend, IN 46601 | Phone: (574) 232-0041 | Fax: (574) 233-1906

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