Sister Bay, Wis. (January 19, 2023) – Midsummer’s Music is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive a Challenge America award of $10,000. This grant will support the Griffon String Quartet’s B Double Sharp programming of music performance and instruction for persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia or in need of geriatric care – and their caregivers – in rural Wisconsin. The grant is one of 262 Challenge America awards totaling $2.62 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Projects such as this one with Midsummer’s Music strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”
Midsummer’s Executive Director Allyson Fleck explained, “The project consists of mini concerts for aging or disabled persons and their caregivers. The presentations are held at locations that are familiar to the audience to create a welcoming atmosphere where people can share their observations and feelings about the journey of memory loss. Studies show that listening to music provides emotional and behavioral support to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.”
One of the most vibrant and engaging quartets of its generation, the Griffon String Quartet was formed in the fall of 2018 by Midsummer’s Music. The quartet is a groundbreaking project to enrich the lives of children and adults throughout northeast Wisconsin through concerts, workshops, and music education outreach.
Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. What began as two concerts among friends has become one of the Midwest’s most anticipated chamber music series, bringing thousands of chamber music enthusiasts from around the globe to the magical Door County Peninsula.