ProMusica Arizona Artistic Director Adam Stich and Matt Newhard (who portrays Henry Hicklebee) at Art Tank competition on Jan. 12.

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ProMusica Arizona scores $5,000 Art Tank grant

Staff Report~ 1/28/2015

PHOENIX – ProMusica Arizona has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Art Tank, a competition sponsored by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The grant was presented on Jan. 12.

Presenting along with seven other arts organizations, PMAZ made the case for a new way to engage audiences and create interest in classical music.

“This grant will allow us to market more effectively to our target audience through the media channels they use to get their information,” said PMAZ Executive Director Yvonne Dolby.

PMAZ Artistic Director Adam Stich guided the presentation to Art Tank judges and shared the thought processes behind the innovative audience-driven classical music concert. Stich said, “Inspired by children’s ‘choose your own adventure books,’ the story of The Unpredictable Adventures of Henry Hicklebee uses music and monologue to assist Henry on his journey of self-discovery, and the audience votes to direct his path.”

The Arizona Art Tank’s byline is “Not business as usual, business unusual” – and this concert garnered support based on its unusual but progressive approach to offering great music and audience involvement as demonstrated during the presentation. As Henry (portrayed by Matt Newhard) tried to track down his past and uncover his identity, the Art Tank panel and audience used cell phones to text his next move. Would he go to Russia? Spain? Votes were cast in favor of Spain as the country and music of the next adventure….and in favor of PMAZ for a first-time Art Tank grant.

Director Stich confirms, “Classical music is still relevant in today’s high tech world. We just need to change the way we connect with audiences. By telling a story through the music and involving the audience in the outcome, we hope to attract interest in a genre that has seen declining attendance in recent years.”

The Unpredictable Adventures of Henry Hicklebee concert will be held at Camelback Bible Church, April 18, 7:30 p.m. and April 19, 4 p.m. Tickets are available at www.pmaz.org, by calling (623) 326-5172, and at the door. Prices are adults $20, seniors (60 years+) $17.50 and students $12 (18 years and under).