Community Engagement

burton suzanneSuzanne L. Burton, University of Delaware
Chair, Committee on Community Engagement

In 2013-14, the work of the Community Engagement committee led to a Webinar held in August, 2014. In this webinar a number of interesting community engagement projects were highlighted. The webinar brought to the fore the need for different webinar configurations that would appeal to different areas of CMS. In addition, a recommendation was made that a survey be distributed to participants prior to webinars to determine what their needs are and an assessment to be given post-webinar for feedback. The committee had planned engagement events for the 56th National Conference, but these did not come to fruition as hoped for.

At the 56th National Conference in Cambridge, MA the committee held two extensive meetings regarding its role within the Society and how to further the aims of Community Engagement (CE) within CMS. Actionable events and how to move the agenda of Community Engagement forward were developed. Following are the points discussed and plans for implementation in the upcoming year and beyond.

Agenda Points

A re-evaluation of the Community Engagement Committee’s mission statement and goals, considering why the committee exists and how CE can lead the way within the Society. We looked to the Imagining America organization as a model for publicly engaged scholarship. The mission statement revision is in process. 

Strategic planning from quick start to momentum, and sustainability. Particularly in the forms of:

A. Promising Community Engagement Practices Web Flip Book 

B. Special Focus Issue for Symposium—Forum--    

C. Create and disseminate a CMS Survey. What would membership like to see? What would it like to learn about? See? Participate in? 

D. Webinars

1. Committee Meetings

2. Topics

a. Start-up

b. Public Scholarship (look to IA as a model)

c. CE in various musical disciplines

d. Continuum of beginning/middle/high end

e. Core components of CE

f. Multiple entry points

g. Applied Scholarship--Follow IA how to document scholarship

3. Call for participation

a. Peer review the presentations

b. Verification of work--that CEs work is REVIEWED not judged         

E. Submitting presentations for regional conferences.

F. Add committee members so that each CMS region is represented on the committee. 

G. Ensuring that CE liaisons are on Regional Boards. 

H. Involving a CE committee member on 2014 CMS Program Committee.

I. Involving students within Society committees such as CE. 

J. Have one point person in the Society who makes regular contact with committee chairs of the various CE-oriented initiatives within CMS—Artist Citizen, International Ambassador Program, CE committee.

Looking ahead to future conferences: 

  • Propose conference session on “Confluence: Music, Culture, and Community” 
  • Propose Unexpected Engagement Parts I & II for Imagining America 2014 conference
  • Re-propose Unexpected Engagement, Parts I & II for CMS 2015 in Santa Fe
  • Revitalize site visits—Begin planning 1 to 2 years ahead of conference

Clearly the Community Engagement Committee is a passionate group of scholars, musickers, and educators. While the agenda set forth is ambitious, the items are certainly within reach.