Local low-income families and individuals can now purchase five- dollar tickets to classical music performances as part of a unique six-month pilot program called Music for All.Kudos to the programs involved to make all that fancy highbrow art stuff available to everyone. Seriously, this is a great initiative.
In the last year alone, Multnomah County has seen an almost 14 percent increase in the number of households utilizing the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Oregon Trail Card, formerly the Food Stamp Program. Music for All helps make life-enriching arts events more accessible and affordable for these citizens. The program is overseen by Go Classical PDX (GCPDX) and sponsored by participating classical music organizations, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), Work for Art, the City of Portland and All Classical 89.9 FM.
SNAP enrollees can buy tickets for five dollars each to eligible events by showing their Oregon Trail Card at the time of purchase and paying with personal funds. SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase tickets or other non-food items. In November 2010, Multnomah County provided SNAP benefits to more than 66,000 households, and this number continues to increase as families struggle to make ends meet.
Classical music organizations participating in Music for All include: Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theater, Chamber Music Northwest, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Friends of Chamber Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Portland Piano International, Portland Symphonic Choir, Cappella Romana and Portland Vocal Consort.
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