Geneva, NY December 15, 2015
In 2015, the Geneva Public Library balked at the tradition of a quiet library, opting instead to encourage the atmosphere to get loud for two different musical series: Tuesdays on the Terrace and Musical Moments. Tuesdays on the Terrace, a 16 week collaboration between the library and the Finger Lakes Independent Music Association offered live music on the Library’s recently renovated terrace. In addition to the live music, the series’ sponsor, the Foundation for Geneva Public Library, provided refreshments and family friendly activities related to the music being performed.
“The Library was really invigorated by Tuesdays on the Terrace,” said Library Director, Chris Finger. “Neighbors, many of whom had never even been to the library before, could hear the music from down the street and came running to check it out.” The series averaged more than 40 people per concert. The events yielded a wide range of outcomes, including the opportunity to support local music, engage a wide variety of patrons, and highlight the Library’s terrace. The last benefit was particularly notable since the terrace had long been looked at by staff as an untapped goldmine for possible programs. Also, because the terrace renovation was supported through special aid funding from Senator Michael Nozzolio, the musical series helped to showcase both the Library’s legislative support and its efficient use of funding.
Tuesdays on the Terrace was a great companion for our long running and incredibly popular Musical Moments series. The series, supported by the Friends of the Geneva Public Library, offers six concerts per year, covering a wide array of musical styles, on Friday evenings after the library has closed for regular operations. Performances routinely draw 75 attendees with those numbers occasionally peaking at more than 100 guests. The series, which has grown immensely from its humble beginnings, is a testament to the power of the grassroots effort from staff, volunteers, and community partners.
“The goal for every program we run is for it to blossom the way Musical Moments has,” said Library Director, Chris Finger. According to Mr. Finger, new programming series like the Wegmans’ Cooking Classes and 1000 Book Before Kindergarten have thrived in part because the library has a model to turn to for how to market and grow programs. “A good idea is the certainly the first key,” added Adult Services Librarian, Kelsy Hibbard-Baker, “But programs only grow and last with consistent schedules, constant changes based on attendee feedback, and delicious snacks.”
The Library’s staff expect the atmosphere to get even louder in 2016. The Library plans to increase the amount of musical performances for Tuesdays on the Terrace in 2016 and is working on the application for a New York State Council on the Arts grant for Musical Moments.
For more information on all Geneva Public Library events, visit www.genevapubliclibrary.net.