"Out of personal tragedy - the Loss of a grandson - our family discovered the power of music to heal. Now it is with a mother's heart that I carry that message to all that need healing. For the families that struggle each day to provide a better life for their children and for the children who have no such family. For the aspiring artist who walk among us, hearing the sounds and patterns that wash over the rest of us. For new audiences, who discover great music for the first time. For the youth who can develop discipline and purpose through an education in music. For those who long for peace and harmony to unite our community and region. For our daughter, our grandson, our children and our future posterity."
- Christi Worsley, Founder of Consolari
There are magic moments in the lives of a very few fortunate communities. They occur when civic
leadership mobilizes behind an animating, powerful, transformational idea.
Sights are raised. Notions that once seemed far-fetched now stir the imagination. Excitement ripples
through engaged parties as a powerful coalition of the willing forms and grows.
A place of social harmony and inner peace. A sanctuary from private tragedy and communal conflict.
An artistic oasis that welcomes all to experience the best of the performing arts, choral music first
among them, in one of the most attractive, comfortable, and acoustically fit concert venues built for
the 21st century, not only in the Southwest, but in all of America.
This center for healing, surrounded by alluring gardens, will be equipped with cutting-edge visual and
audio technology. A place of respite for the physically and spiritually dispossessed will be both an
aesthetically inviting and virtually accessible space.
In this space, teaching and learning of uncommon quality will occur every day.
In this space, not only will local artistic groups be nurtured into programmatic and financial maturity,
but also the world’s best symphonies, solo artists, choruses, and chamber music ensembles will pulsate
with energy as they discover a new, inspiring seasonal home.
Envisioned is a new community asset vital to economic development. Arizona will become known as
a state rich in artistic accomplishment, a complement to its renowned resorts, golf courses, natural
beauty, athletics, higher education, and health care attractions.
As such, people of good will who have enjoyed professional success, shall now have a new opportunity
to experience social consequence for themselves and successor generations, as they choose to become
early and generous supporters of a seminal venue.
Noah’s principle will always be at work. “No more credit for predicting rain. Credit only for building arks.”
There is a musical ark within our reach. It’s Consolari.
"As Lincoln Center has transformed New York City and Inspired generations of artists and audiences, Consolari can have a similarly catalytic role in its unique setting. Lincoln Center serves as an advisor to Consolari in the exciting undertaking. It is a privilege to work alongside open-minded, ambitious philanthropists to create a new and important center for the performing arts."
-Reynold Levy, President of Lincoln Center, Oct. 2013
The Arizona desert has always been a destination for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. The air, the stars, and the vistas draw people to the Southwestern United States. But what of the desert’s sounds?
The Southwest has never built a destination for music of the highest order. Today, there is no world-class concert hall in the region for orchestras, choruses, chamber groups, organ music, or solo recitalists to envelop and embrace their audiences.
People today come to Arizona for sunshine and spas, schools, and sports. But tomorrow, with Consolari on the horizon, they will come for exhilarating encores.
While Native Americans have inhabited Arizona for thousands of years, the land has also attracted the most adventurous of pioneers and entrepreneurs throughout the decades; most Arizona residents hail from elsewhere.
Retirees relocate to pursue whole health for mind and body. Others arrive with their young families seeking financial opportunity in a growing market. The result is a swiftly increasing population and an evolving sense of community.
Neighbors need places and opportunities to come together and advance with optimism. Music can be part of the answer. Consolari will be a place where people from all backgrounds are invited to gather, where art elevates and inspires.
The youth, energy, and diversity of Arizona’s population will be reflected in the shaping of a dynamic artistic program. The pursuit of health and wellness will be central to the design of the campus and will infuse the curation of performances. The famous Arizona sunshine will allow large audiences to congregate on Consolari’s grounds for free family concerts, screenings, and events year-round.
As the nation’s sixth most populous metropolitan area, Phoenix is an ideal location for a campus designed for music performance and education. Light Rail will seamlessly, swiftly and affordably transport audiences from across Phoenix and Tempe and the East Valley to Consolari’s front door in Mesa. Adjacent to the Mesa Arts Center, which presents hundreds of plays, musicals, concerts, and educational events in its four theaters each year, Consolari will anchor a vibrant arts corridor (CuDoS, or the Cultural Downtown Space) that will be a rich cultural destination for area residents and tourists.
The time for the Valley of the Sun is now. A new surge of creativity is flourishing in this desert. Beginning with the building of Frank Lloyd Wright‘s winter residence some 75 years ago, this region is now gaining global acclaim for the largest collection of musical instruments in the world with the 2010 opening of the Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM).
While Consolari will draw audiences from Scottsdale, Tucson, and across Arizona and the country, the local population is poised to embrace a new music destination. The region has a strong base of avid classical music and choral music enthusiasts and strong public school music programs. The large Hispanic community seizes opportunities to enjoy live family entertainment. The booming college student population of over 150,000 will seek evening social options as well as opportunities to pursue musical aspirations of their own.
Demographics, transportation, complementary cultural facilities, civic leadership, and public enthusiasm align in the East Valley. A more ideal setting for Consolari would be difficult to find.
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Consolari is a welcoming respite where those in need of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing and wellness may find solace, energy, and transcendence through exceptional music.
Music touches the soul of man, elevates mood, facilitates communication, reduces stress and transforms grief into hope. Music is part of a healthy lifestyle, and regular listening or music creation can improve and accelerate physical and mental healing. Live music is a source of joy and harmony: it elevates the individual and the community, bringing together diverse cultures through common humanity.
Recent studies are illuminating the power of music to impact physical healing. It may be that more of the brain is involved in perception and response to music than to any other stimulus, according to Oliver Sacks, MD, an author, artist and neurologist at Columbia University. Studies show that listening to half an hour of music produces the same effect as ten milligrams of Valium, and exposure to music has been associated with increased cells that fight germs and bacteria. Patients who listen to music have exhibited less anxiety and lower stress hormones than those who take medicine prescribed to relieve stress. Music has been shown to improve and accelerate healing for those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Parkinson’s, dementia, strokes, brain damage, asthma, cancer, memory loss, developmental and intellectual disabilities, premature birth, anxiety, mood disorders, depression, aging, high blood pressure, and more.
It is against this exciting backdrop of new scientific discovery that Consolari establishes itself as a unique center for healing through music.
"We are human because of our brain, our hand, and our heart. Only the human being can express inspiration and emotion by combining all three and thus produce the expression of the human condition in writing, poetry, music, dance, visual art and design, and theatrical art, both stage and screen - all a creative expression of the heart and soul. The arts can be used to heal both clinically as preventive medicines in mental health and for those suffering physically from illness."
-Wilma Bulkin Siegel, MD, artist, member of the Advisory Council of Columbia Medical Center
Programs: Extraordinary performances from acclaimed local, national and international artists and ensembles will serve as critical components of comprehensive healing programs in partnership with local medical, therapy, and wellness organizations. Specially curated series around themes such as Calming or Energizing will guide patrons toward music most beneficial to them and their needs, utilizing both audio and visual performance elements. Consolari’s healing activities will be informed by a resident music therapist who will guide effective artist engagements with patients, caretakers, and staff within partner organizations. These will include artists performing for, and creating music with, patients in small groups, one-on-one engagements between musicians and patients, and casual concerts for all to enjoy.
Research and Development: Consolari will be a hub of cutting edge research on best practices for healing through music. Conferences and workshops open to the community will convene on its campus, fostering active engagement and dialogue among leading music therapists, neurologists, spiritual guides, artists, and patients. Talks and webinars will communicate key insights from these activities, and an online resource will aggregate this valuable information and facilitate a community of support for those in need of healing.
Advocacy: Consolari will raise awareness and catalyze support for further study on the links between music and wellness through strong relationships with prominent figures committed to this area of inquiry and innovation. Consolari will take advantage of opportunities throughout the year to further promote the study and practice of music and healing worldwide, such as symposia, festivals, and live streams and cinecasts of events.
Consolari’s identity as a campus committed to integrating music, health, and well-being will be evident in its design. The performance halls will rest amid meditative gardens, peaceful water elements, and a walking labyrinth: bright, reflective places that are ideal for soothing the soul. Inspired public art and rotating exhibitions will give visitors reason to return to the halls and gardens often, with the promise of finding new energy and inspiration each time. The halls will surpass accessibility standards for the comfort and encouragement of those with physical challenges, including enclosed boxes where visitors in need of individual space can enjoy a performance in comfort with their caretakers and family.
Consolari will welcome leading solo artists, orchestras, chamber groups, and choruses from around the world to one of America’s preeminent concert halls.
Music nurtures the soul; brings solace in times of turmoil; fosters valuable, lifelong skills for those who train, practice and perform; and unites communities for contemplation and celebration. Consolari will, in every sense, make lives more beautiful through the uplifting, healing, and transformative force of music. It will be a beacon for music in the American Southwest, a nascent market for the classical arts.
"The most transformative experience I've ever had was in that single moment; hearing dissonance and harmony and people singing, people together, this vision... I felt for the first time in my life that I was part of something bigger than myself."
-Eric Whitacre, acclaimed composer and conductor, on singing with a choir for the first time
Choral music will serve as the anchor of the Consolari music program. Choral singing is the most popular form of performing arts participation in the United States; with 42.6 million people currently singing in choirs, there are more members of the American choral community than there are inhabitants of the state of California. According to a recent study by Chorus America, choirs bridge social gaps; improve interpersonal skills; increase academic success in students; and encourage philanthropy and civic involvement. As the first purpose-built choral music hall in the nation, Consolari will create the opportunity for growing choirs to perform and record in facility with world-class acoustics.
The Millennial Choirs and Orchestras will be one of the choirs in residence at Consolari. Inspired by the mantra “all ages, all faiths, one voice,” Millennial Choirs and Orchestras (MCO) was founded in the unifying power of quality classical and sacred music. In just five years, MCO has grown from seven to over 2,000 participants, ages four and up. The East Valley branch of MCO began the 2013–2014 season with 1,250 participants and has outgrown any available performance venues in the Valley of the Sun.
While the artistic programming at Consolari will have classical music at its core, it will also embrace a wide range of cultural traditions. Expertly curated festivals and series may include a winter residency of one of America’s leading orchestras. Globally renowned orchestras like the London Symphony Orchestra, celebrated solo artists such as Joshua Bell, and groundbreaking chamber ensembles like the Kronos Quartet are among the echelon of artists who will captivate audiences at Consolari. From formal performances in the main hall with pioneering visual technology to family-friendly outdoor performances and cinecasts to intimate recitals, aspiring and accomplished artists of the highest caliber will perform at Consolari.
Consolari’s performance halls will not only be physically spectacular, but functionally seamless and acoustically exquisite. Venues will include a large concert hall to accommodate full choirs and orchestras; two more intimate performance spaces for smaller chamber ensembles, and an outdoor lawn with a large projection wall for broadcasts of concerts and events. An amphitheater or bandshell with a stage will allow for outdoor concerts and social dancing. All spaces will be equipped with cutting-edge recording capabilities to capture and distribute the magical moments created in Consolari’s halls. A new gem in the American cultural landscape, Consolari will serve as a southwestern magnet for the world’s leading artists and ensembles.
Consolari’s education initiatives will be the epicenter of imagination in Arizona. Participants in and alumni of Consolari-led education programs will enhance their overall academic performance, boost their self-esteem, and strengthen their communities.
Consolari’s educational programs will guide students from their very first note though their individual trajectory of artistic development, regardless of musical talent or socio-economic status. Nationally, young people involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, earn higher grade point averages, perform better on standardized tests, and report a greater interest in staying in school. As a pillar of arts education in the community, Consolari will help young people develop lifelong skills that will endure on and off the stage.
"Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them - a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music."
-Gerlad Ford, Former President of the United States
Community Engagement: Echoing the principles of El Sistema, Consolari will fortify the fabric of the young family population in its surrounding community. Consolari will cultivate a network of youth performance groups to promote positive behaviour. Consolari’s reach will also extend into class- rooms by providing valuable teacher training resources and facilitating educational opportunities for local public and private schools. These programs will provide a positive outlet for local youth, energizing their spirits and keeping them motivated about learning.
Pre-Professional Training: For those who exhibit real talent and commitment, leading faculty will offer evening and weekend private lessons and coaching, in person and remotely via high-speed digital technology. Consolari will provide professional performance opportunities for young musicians; careers will be ignited on the stages of Consolari.
School Partnerships: Consolari is working in collaboration with the Mesa Public Schools, the state’s largest public school district, to pioneer the future of arts-based education. Consolari’s broad reach and intensive training opportunities will guide students into tomorrow’s preeminent artists and nimble, creative leaders.
As a hub for education, Consolari’s campus will provide a wealth of stimulating physical spaces where students will be inspired to learn. Students will practice and meet their teachers in state-of-the-art classrooms built with intelligent acoustic design. These rooms will also be equipped with the latest video-conferencing technology and broadband connection, allowing artists from around the world to teach their pupils in real time. Imagination and learning will be on display campus-wide in one of Consolari’s several performance spaces. In these hallowed halls, students will share their achievements with teachers, family, friends, and the greater community.
Though none will question Consolari’s far-reaching influence on the state of Arizona, the Southwest and beyond, Consolari will be a point of pride for Mesa and the Valley of the Sun. Located in a community where the average age is 34—a full three years younger than the national average—and more than a quarter of residents speak a native language other than English, Consolari will be designed to welcome audiences that are younger and more diverse than those at traditional concert halls across the country. Through a unique array of artistic programs and an inviting campus environment, Consolari will attract local residents from college students to Snowbird retirees to recent immigrants.
Composer Paul Hindemith observed, “People who make music together cannot be enemies, at least not while the music lasts.” Through the creation and enjoyment of music, Consolari aims to bring together the diverse population of the Valley of the Sun. As local residents enjoy the same public resource, age, race and socioeconomic barriers will be broken down, promoting harmony and social cohesion.
"La cultura en la musica, en particular, me parece que es la mejor via para unir a personas por un bien comun, por un momento de paz, de alegria, de unidad."
"Culture in music, in particular, seems to me the best way to unite people for a common good, for a moment of peace, of happiness, of unity."
-Alondra de la Parra, Conductor
Weekend afternoons will find hundreds of families picnicking on Consolari’s vast grounds, enjoying the sweet sounds of the world’s best Latin music players. Later that night, a dance band will be heard in the air as amateur dancers young and old set out to test their skill at swing or salsa on Arizona’s largest outdoor dance floor. Consolari’s lush gardens will provide respite to young moms as they watch their children run and play in adjoining open areas. Students and young adults will come to socialize, grabbing a meal at one of the campus’ cafes and restaurants before wandering the grounds to hear a jazz quartet perform in a garden setting.
A specific focus on welcoming the finest of the world’s Hispanic performers will engender excitement from both Hispanic and non-Hispanic audiences. Consolari will host festivals that present a wide range of artists, from Hispanic soloists performing with European, American, and South American orchestras to Spanish- language filmmakers and accomplished Latin dancers. The campus will be a sanctuary of Hispanic art, inspiring a range of Arizonians, from the Mexican immigrant and his children to the non-Hispanic college student studying Spanish at ASU to the intellectually curious retiree.
The campus, in addition to providing opportunities for solitude and reflection in the gardens, will promote interaction, conversation, and cohesion, with varied seating and plentiful shade by day and ample lighting by night. Bilingual campus signage and amenities to assist residents young and old will make Consolari a welcoming home for all.
'When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our father did for us."'
-John Ruskin, leading British art critic of the Victorian era
Perhaps you have witnessed firsthand music’s ability to heal.
Perhaps you wish to strengthen the economic engine of the arts in the Valley of the Sun.
Perhaps you have a conviction that the workforce of the future demands flexible thinkers who have genuine intellectual curiosity—characteristics that a music education can develop.
Perhaps you see the need for community cohesion in Arizona and wish to further cultural initiatives that promote a unified society.
Perhaps you would like to demonstrate—for your family and your descendants—your active participation in the life of your city, your state, your country. Perhaps you would like to inspire your peers to join you in this game-changing effort.
If so, we hope that you will join us! Ven con nosotros!
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"The arts are not for the privileged few, but for many. Their place is not on the periphery of daily life, but at its center."
- John D. Rockefeller III, Founder and first Chairman of Lincoln Center