A Transformational Moment

Now that the Music Academy Remote Learning Institute (MARLI) has concluded, we’re left with a question: how do you measure the impact of a new idea like this one? During a normal Festival, the growth of the fellows and the impact on the audience is often readily apparent. It is also often anecdotal, measurable in conversations over a Friday picnic or a quick exchange of words during intermission at the Granada Theatre. How do you assess the reverberations of an experience conducted entirely remotely?

How about 134 fellows participating in MARLI?  Or 93 fellows participating in the Creative Extension, all of whom received a Professional Development Stipend? How about 29 events in the Concert Hall Online, or 55 blog posts? MARLI’s impact begins to come into focus. Over the course of its six weeks, MARLI received feature stories in local media five times, a rate that outstrips the coverage for a normal Festival. This summer’s virtual events were shared on social media dozens of times by people across the country and the world. Collectively these events have now been viewed over 10,000 times. And counting.

Future generations will look back at this as a transformational moment in Music Academy history, a moment when the faculty, fellows, board, administration, and community rose up in the face of an unprecedented challenge and reimagined the Summer Festival concept. MARLI’s true impact will be felt for years to come.

A complete MARLI summary and impact report, including further statistics and testimonials from those involved, will be mailed to supporters in September. This impact report will also be available online.


Good news—the Resonance Blog isn’t finished yet! Far from it. Posts will continue throughout the off-season at the rate of around one per week. We look forward to educating, connecting, and keeping you in the know!

– Henry Michaels
Resonance editor, Audience Services and Community Access Manager, Music Academy of the West