Since 1947, Fairbanks Concert Association (FCA) has served the Fairbanks community by presenting artistically and culturally diverse performing arts events and educational opportunities of the highest quality from around the world. We are a grass-roots organization that started small with volunteers and a very small audience base and have grown to our current configuration with minimal staff and an annual audience of approximately 15,000.
We’ve recently concluded the most successful season in our 70-year history, with record numbers of members, subscribers and attendance. We were recognized by the Alaska State Legislature for our community service and completed a community survey, part of our overall long-term plan, gathering information on what our focus should be. The community spoke clearly: prioritize students.
We took this seriously while planning for this year and have addressed it in a thoughtful considered way with the following components:
Community Outreach Programs:
For many years, FCA has been the principal provider of school performances in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. Each year we offer a number of presentations by FCA guest artists at Hering Auditorium each for an audience of 1200 FNSB School District students. For many of these students it will be their only opportunity to attend a live performance by professional artists. Teachers use these presentations as a springboard for classroom activities.
In addition to the bus-in school shows, we offer school classroom residencies and workshops for the community with our artists.
When Black Violin comes to perform in November, they will work with the string players from the Fairbanks Youth Orchestra who will then perform with them for their encore.
We will follow this up in February by bringing three groups of alt-classical musicians here for a four-day residency planned with district music teachers in conjunction with the Music In Our Schools program (MIOS).
Our residency with the Sirius Quartet, Roy Wooten and Tracy Silverman Futureman/Silverman, and Seven)Suns will focus on education and improvisation and includes:
- Multiple classroom residencies during final preparations for school performances
- Work with the Fairbanks Youth Orchestra, the Concert Orchestra and the String Orchestra with a concert on the last day, complementing the work started with Black Violin in the fall.
- A series of small-venue performances
- A community improv with opportunity for local writers, artists, dancers and musicians to participate
- Opportunities for local musicians to perform with guest artists
- A final concert with all three artists performing together in the concert hall
This is a much more involved project than any we’ve previously attempted and we are very excited to see if we can make it work.
Each year we designate a program as our family show. We lower ticket prices so families can afford to attend together, and donate hundreds of tickets to families in need through the school district, active military and their families and social service organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Women’s Shelter etc.
This year there are three family shows: Black Violin, OK Go, and Frogz. All of these have ticket prices set to make it affordable to attend as a family and we will donate tickets to each of these. Unlike last season where we designated shows as family shows through virtue of their pricing, this year all are specifically all-age appropriate.
Over the years we have contributed thousands of tickets to active military and their families. We brought artists to perform at Ft Wainwright, Clear, and for the past eight years, to Ft Greely.
This year, we begin a new initiative. Stephan Wolfert brings Cry Havoc and his De-Cruit program to Interior Alaska. With partners Blossom House Healing Arts, 4-H Military Programs of UAF, and support from Breadcrumbs Theater and Fairbanks Shakespeare Theater, we’ll bring 12 hours of workshops to Fairbanks, Eielson AFB and Ft Greely for veterans suffering traumatic brain injury and PTSD, together with performances of Cry Havoc, Wolfert’s one-man performance interweaving personal writings with Veteran-related Shakespeare texts. This project will establish the De-Cruit program in Interior Alaska.
FCA’s Education Partnership program is designed to help underwrite our exciting, Education, Family and Military Programs. This year, your contribution helps us to drastically reduce the general ticket prices to family shows and underwrites the cost for military families and in-need children to attend. Thanks to the commitment and financial support of countless community members, thousands of young people have attended an FCA Family Program performance, free of charge. To become an FCA Education Partner, please indicate so on your sign-up form or donate online. The arts are essential. Please help make it possible for all children and everyone in our community to experience the joy of live performances.