[It] was such a lovely way to experience the city and to feel as though our music was having a real impact on the different communities in Chicago. —Project Inclusion alumnus
Project Inclusion is a unique artist development opportunity for singers and string players of color aimed at increasing diversity and guiding young professionals toward successful careers in music.
Each year outstanding young musicians are hand-selected by the Festival to rehearse and perform within the ranks of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, and receive one-on-one mentoring from seasoned professionals. Performing in parks and community centers around the city, the Project Inclusion fellows serve as an integral part of the Festival's summer lineup. They provide daily musical demonstrations within the Classical Campers program, and gain valuable experience in public speaking, ensemble playing, and the management of a busy music career.
Project Inclusion was the inspiration of maestro Paul Freeman, founder of Chicago Sinfonietta. The Grant Park Music Festival forged a partnership with Sinfonietta in 2013 to launch its own Project Inclusion program.
Project Inclusion fellows perform throughout the city via the Chicago Park District's Night out in the Parks program.
Due to the cancellation of the 2020 season, the 2020 Fellows have been invited to return to the program for the 2021 season.