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Community Engagement Event Design

Questions when designing a Community Engagement events.

What are the sponsor’s goals for the event such as addressing obesity, learning stress-reduction techniques or strengthening resilience?

How will you address the sponsor’s goals through what you do in your presentation; e.g. have the audience experience the following: belly breathing, walking in place without and then with music, pretending to brush teeth or wash hands for 30 seconds while the musicians play 30 seconds of music?

How long is the event? Is there something occurring just before or after this event using this or a nearby space? Is there sound spillover from nearby rooms? Can you hear fans, humming, heating system or lights noise? What is the lighting?

The performance space: What is the estimated size and configuration of the venue: square, oblong, round? Is it carpeted?

Describe the audience: How many people do you expect? What are their ages? Are there people with special needs? With what instruments and styles of music are they familiar? Are they capable of or accustomed to physical activity? How will that change what music you choose and the way you introduce it?

Do you have a handout? Who pays for copies? Does the handout contain your organization’s contact information? How did you determine the content and length of the handout? Was there relevant information you were not able to include due to cost or other limitations? Did you provide links to more information and resources available online?

What are your resources at the venue, such as exercise, yoga or meditation classes? Does the venue want them mentioned or promoted? For example, a hospital may offer Tai Ji but wants more participants, or has social workers and support groups that are underutilized. A library may want the audience to know about a medical literacy or an ESL program.

Will your program have audience participation? In a young children’s event the audience could conduct, clap, dance, sing. What would you change in presenting to older children?

What music did you choose and why?

What do you have that reflects the season we are in? Where we live? Are there famous songs about this location? Do you have music that is energizing? Is calming? Is familiar? If the music or the instrument you play is not familiar, how will you address that? Is there any music on your list that might exclude or make uncomfortable a segment of your audience, e.g. melancholy songs for a cancer survivor group when what they want to hear is music that gives them hope. What could you play instead?

For more information on music and wellness visit http://wellness.pittsburghsymphony.org/

Updated April 27, 2016

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