2020 In Review
While 2020 has surely been a challenging year, we are grateful for the support of our donors and the resilience of our incredible students and staff. This year took on a different form, but the end results were continued growth in the arts.
- January and February saw live music camps and performances for the Boston Crusaders, Inspire World Guard, and Blessed Sacrament Guards.
- Our city programs returned from the holiday break excited, fresh off of holiday performances for their families and friends. We continued our live programming through March.
- In March, we put safety and wellness first and began to pivot to digital and virtual programming. We didn’t know just how long it would extend, but we knew our students and staff wanted to continue to make music.
- April and May began to dictate new terms for our summer programming. Inspire Arts & Music focused on being a resource for students, parents, staff, alumni and fans. Regular zoom meetings became a place to share hopes, fears, fun memories, and future plans. Students were on leadership focused zoom calls. The staff and Board of Directors stayed unified to deliver our mission in whatever format available. Alumni rallied together as the new found time allowed for all to connect and come together.
- The Boston Crusaders hosted its first ever “Giving Day” in May. This unique virtual entertainment event focused on engagement and fundraising. It was wildly successful on both fronts, raising over $100,000 and giving our students a platform to share their talents!
- The Boston Crusaders hosted social media watch parties, reliving decades of performances, and held a viewing party of the epic 75th Anniversary Documentary – including the performance with the Boston Pops on the July 4th before tens of thousands on the Esplanade and an international television audience!
- Inspire Arts & Music hosted its annual Concert in the Park virtually, where all Inspire programs were represented and we awarded our 2020 Champion Award to Cathy and Jim Stone; and Lifetime Achievement recognition to Paul Pitts and Marietta Phinney. Thanks to our Concert in the Park sponsors, we were able to support our programs throughout this challenging time period, both delivering on arts education but also being a positive virtual space for our students and staff, as mental and emotional well being continued to be paramount.
- Over the summer, a series of virtual performances were held, featuring the work and talents of all of our students. These performances included, brass, percussion, dance choreography, professional guests and more. Our staff continued to run master classes and engage students throughout the summer.
- In August, we hosted another new and successful online alumni event. Our “Alumni & Friends Celebration” brought alumni together online to support Drum Corps International’s “March On” project and vote on the “top 5” Boston Crusader fan favorites of all time. This fun event raised an additional $20,000 and brought our members, staff, alumni and fans closer together.
- As society opened up, we were able to host a “live” Crusader Golf Classic at the end of September. Canterbury Wood Country Club in Canterbury, NH was a spectacular host and event. The golf tournament raised $77,000 – our best ever by far – due to the incredible support of our sponsors and players, and also the great generosity of Canterbury Woods and Bob MacCormack.
- The Inspire Arts & Music Board of Directors convened onsite and virtual for its annual Board offsite in October. Incredible sessions were led by our Diversity and Inclusion committee, Alumni Affairs committee, Business Development committee, and our Audit and Finance committee. We were joined by special guests, Dan Acheson, CEO of Drum Corps International and Kathy Black, Chair of the Board of DCI.
- Just a few weeks ago, Inspire Arts & Music shared plans around the return of live programming for 2021. We are optimistic that we can safely assemble in early summer as the vaccine phases in over the next 6 months. One final 2020 virtual event – Jingle Jam – featured performances from a wide range of students, staff and professional alumni.
Watch a replay of our Jingle Jam holiday celebration below! Please enjoy the performances and have a safe and happy holiday season. We are grateful for your support and friendship!