Lights, Camera, MUSIC! A formal invitation to MORE LIFE, July 16th from Chicago President and CEO Blake-Anthony Johnson


 Lights, Camera, MUSIC!


A formal invitation to MORE LIFE, July 16th 

from Chicago President and CEO Blake-Anthony Johnson

Chicago Sinfonietta is proud to be a part of Chicago. The City of Chicago is  lauded as the number one, most-diversified economy among the largest U.S metropolitan districts*  and there is a reason for this! Chicago’s creative industries (arts & culture) not only are a key part of the collective economic body, but we are the connective tissue that supports, protects, and gives structure to our world-class city.

A vibrant cultural landscape is more than just a fun evening of entertainment; the creative industry sector is instrumental in the economic development and job creation of every city and town in which it operates.  The arts are the shiny jewels businesses spotlight when luring talent to Choose Chicago, as well as the anchor to the community needed to retain both the familiar and new. The arts are the digital and physical cultural corridors that support socio-economic development, small local businesses, community investments, tourism, consumer purchases, and a city-wide culture of innovative ideation across sectors.

The arts are also a bridge between the old and the new, and Chicago Sinfonietta in particular is an active vanguard in this area. In 2020, I had the pleasure of introducing two new Chicago Sinfonietta (CS) programs: an expansion to our internationally acclaimed Freeman Fellowship Program (formerly named Project Inclusion) by adding composition as a fourth discipline, and our inaugural 2020-2023 Artist in Residence partnership – with  Kathryn Bostic, a member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and the first female African American score composer in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Bostic was the perfect partner to highlight Chicago’s national film score connections and CS’ work both on and off stage (including working with our new composition fellow). Did you know that Illinois is the 3rd largest movie and recording workforce in the country – and growing! In 2021, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced a new initiative to strengthen Chicago’s TV and film industry titled Chicago Made.

Chicago Sinfonietta, fellow alumni, and affiliate artists have an extensive list of credits and partnerships within film & television. CS Music Director Mei-Ann Chen chose Michael Abels (score composer for Get Out which CS performed in 2019) as a partner for her first recording with Chicago Sinfonietta as Music Director in Delight & Dances.  Too many credits to list;  you can hear the global impact of Chicago Sinfonietta’s network in small independent films up to mega hits like Jordan Peele’s US, the Lion King directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, and so much more!

Beyond Chicago Sinfonietta, the city of Chicago has dominated the scores of recent films. Both Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings franchises utilized talent nurtured by the city of Chicago’s nationally acclaimed film score composition & recording collegiate programs, not to mention Chicago being home to some of the biggest living legends in the industry  – Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. Chicago Sinfonietta’s industry – the TV, Film, & Music industry, is just one of the many connective tissues that supports, protects, and gives structure to this word-class city.

The arts offer so much to the communities in which we live, and connect through collaborations across the genres. We invite you to see collaborative arts in action – join us, the Chicago Sinfonietta, this Saturday, July 16 at Millennium Park for the third installment of our new SINFONIETTA IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD series with  MORE LIFE,  an all-day event from 3 – 7 pm. Free and open to the public celebrating Chicago’s legacy and influence in art, design, and entertainment, this unique program allows you to experience the best of  “Summer Chi”  while highlighting homegrown talent with an all-star fashion design panel, and performances by DJs and musicians supporting Chicago’s cultural ecology of regional entrepreneurs in art, design, and music! We look forward to seeing  you there! 

Happy Summer,


Blake-Anthony Johnson

President & CEO, Chicago Sinfonietta
2022 Chicago Community Trust Daniel Burnham Fellow
Voting Member, Recording Academy
Cultural Advisory Council, City of Chicago (DCASE)


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