Friday, June 15, 2007

Musicians, Take to the Streets! Day of Music—June 21st

I’d never heard of this until the other day, when my aunt told me about her Argentinian friend who is flying from Greensboro to Paris soon for the annual Fête de la Musique, a day when every square in the city boasts live performers, and especially amateurs. Turns out that in the early 80s, a fellow named Maurice Fleuret was in charge of the music portfolio at the Ministry of Culture in France. He heard a statistic that there were five million people in his country who owned musical instruments, and the idea hit him—what if everyone took those instruments to the street on the same day!

France began its Day of Music in 1982. When the European Year of Music was celebrated in 1985, the Day got exported to London, Rome, and Istanbul. Ten years after that, a charter for the “European Fête de la Musique” was introduced, imposing the original principle of the event--that the music had to be free and open to the public. Now, over 100 nations participate in this sonic celebration of the longest day of the year.

So, if you own a musical instrument, find a street corner next Thursday! And shouldn’t your next Sprout Grant proposal involve the organizing of Pittsburgh’s Fête de la Musique 2008?

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