The Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival is proud of its dedication to a positive influence in the broader community of Detroit and the metro area. That commitment manifests itself in many ways, reaching a broad spectrum of residents, from pre-school to senior citizens.
Great Lakes Festival musicians have visited numerous schools districts, including Dearborn, Pontiac, Troy, and Detroit's Cornerstone School. A number of the Festival's educational activities were supported by Target, as well as by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Oakland County Office of Arts, Culture, and Film.
These services are sometimes offered by outstanding professional musicians who live in the region. But they are also provided by musicians participating in the Festival's Shouse Institute, which focuses on young ensembles that are emerging to professional status. Most recently, a Shouse ensemble, the Catalyst Quartet (comprised of four Sphinx prize winners) presented several demonstrations in Pontiac elementary schools. In 2012, another Shouse group, the Attacca Quartet, presented a free children's concert at the Art Gallery of Windsor.
The Festival is also dedicated to helping create the next generation of artistic administrators. The event has won awards for its strong intern program. Several college-age interns are hired each year to assist in administrative tasks in Marketing and Development, Box Office, and Production over the summer. With support from MCACA's "New Leaders Arts Council of Michigan Retention and Engagement" program, an Intern Summit (a professional development forum for interns at area arts organizations) was led by two young Festival staff members and occurred in July 2012. Over 50 interns attended the event at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and three guest speakers from the DIA, Henry Ford, and the DSO participated.