June 2013

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work to inspire The Ultimate Summer Gig Make Music Madison spreads live concerts through the city By Amy Carlson Imagine sitting on your front porch relishing the warm breeze, a cool drink and live music. Maybe you're arriving at the Dane County Regional Airport to the sounds of a string quartet. Perhaps you're strolling through a city park and hear the strains of opera singers. It all becomes a reality Friday, June 21—the summer solstice. Make Music Madison will transform front yards, city parks, restaurants and even fire departments into outdoor music venues to celebrate the longest day of the year. Madison isn't the only city celebrating. More than 450 communities around the world will offer their versions of "Fete de la Musique," the original 1982 Paris solstice celebration that showcased musicians of all abilities and genres at outdoor performances. Longtime UW-Madison marketing professor Michael Rothschild first experienced the event in New York City and brought the idea to Madison to launch the event this year. Madison is among 15 U.S. cities playing host this year. "Madison is incredibly suited for this event. Imagine all the creativity and ideas and passion for music in this city, unleashed in amazing ways. This should be nothing short of spectacular," Rothschild says. Make Music Madison's citywide musical palooza hits "stages" between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. at more than 83 venues. So far more than 113 artists have signed on to perform 30 kinds of music. Performances include Saaz, a collective of musicians from India performing at Library Mall. Forward Marching Band has commandeered the Madison School and Community Recreation's flotilla of pontoon boats and will play while cruising through the Tenney Locks to Lake Monona. No big concert happens without a great crew of "roadies" behind the scenes. The City of Madison provided a $25,000 seed grant to support the yearlong planning efforts, and also donated permits and park shelters to ensure the event's success. Volunteer techies led by Michael Fenchel and Michael Schuette of Madison startup,, developed unique software to match musicians and venues and a local smart phone app that displays performances by genre, neighborhood, artist, venue and time. Performers donate their time and talents, too, so there is no admission fee for any of the venues. And, you can catch all the performances: Musicians and their audiences are encouraged to post videos of the event on Make Music Madison's website. As organizer Beth Mastin says, "The summer solstice is a global event that everyone observes. What better way to celebrate than live music outdoors?" ••• Get the complete performance schedule at Amy Carlson is anchor of NBC 15's Weekend Morning Show in Madison. She can be reached at What it is: MMM joins hundreds of cities around the world in celebrating the longest day of the year with a free, citywide, outdoor music extravaganza.  32 BRAVA Magazine What they do: The organization secures venues, obtains permits and coordinates volunteers and musicians, whether amateur or professional, so they can rock out on street corners, parks and community centers all over town.   June 2013 How to help: Donate online or volunteer your time June 21. Help with performance logistics or record your favorite concerts and post your videos on MMM's Facebook and YouTube sites. For more information: Visit  Photo by Kerry G. Hill Nonprofit Profile: Make Music Madison

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