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Ravinia Festival Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Performing Arts

Mission: Ravinia is an internationally renowned, not-for-profit music festival that presents outstanding performances by the world's greatest artists. Ravinia's principal objectives are: -to present performances of a full range of classical music in its open-air pavilion and enclosed recital halls, by the world's greatest composers and musicians, along with a variety of other kinds of light classical, jazz and popular music. -to maintain a beautiful park that is welcoming to all and attractive to families in which the music experience is enhanced by a beautiful environment and excellent dining opportunities. -to enable gifted young performers to study under great teachers and perform in concert settings. And to develop broader and more diverse audiences for classical music through education and outreach programs and by maintaining affordable ticket prices.

Programs: Founded in 1904, ravinia is the oldest outdoor music festival in north america and presents a wide-ranging series of concerts reaching approximately 600,000 visitors of diverse backgrounds each summer season. Classical music is central to the mission of ravinia, which has hosted the chicago symphony orchestra in summer residence since 1936. Ravinia annually presents more than 120 separate events over the summer months of june through september. Concerts range from pop, jazz, world music, dance and music theater, with a special emphasis on classical music.

ravinia operates a professional studies wing, the steans music institute, through which serious artists around the world compete for 70 annual fully paid fellowships to hone their performance techniques with celebrated music masters. Steans is a rigorous and acclaimed study program in which the finest up-and-coming musicians can study with the master of their fields, often the very artists performing at ravinia. Participants give a combination of free concerts prior to paid events at ravinia festival, as well as low-priced stand-alone concerts, affording them the opportunity to experience audience reaction while providing ravinia audiences a chance to witness tomorrow's stars today.

through ravinia's reach*teach*play education programs, over 75,000 people are served each year in the chicago public schools and beyond, ensuring that great music remains accessible to all. Ravinia provides programs that access and spark a curiosity to learn more about music. Programs are offered that expand the understanding and enjoyment of music and programs that foster the development of young musicians through training and encouragment. Ravinia provides music education programs to 18,000 public school students, returning music to budget-strapped schools in chicago's underserved neighborhoods, free family music programs through a community conservancy in lawndale, an intense orchestra training, sistema training program at circle rock charter school in chicago, and a jazz scholars program for talented high school students. In addition, ravinia provides free passes to provide access to concerts throughout the summer through partnerships with 200 social service agencies.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ravinia does so much in the Chicago area to promote music education and performance. Contrary to the belief of some, Ravinia is not just a venue where rock bands and classical music acts come to play. Ravinia has programs that give back to the community in a huge way. One is their Reach*Teach*Play program that gives underserved students the opportunity to see world class acts right in their schools. They also collaborate with these schools to have them all learn the same music, then they go to a private concert just for them in the massive band shell - last year 2,700 students were bussed in for a concert by Midwest Young Artists. They played Holst's "The Planets" and the students in the crowd had worked on creating dances and costumes to go along with the movements, and they had a chance to be on a big stage in their own special event. Talk about instilling wonder, confidence, hope, and solid values. The people that work there are also extremely passionate and make sure everything is of the best quality. A+ for Ravinia.