21CM M2 storefront

Music on the Square, Part 1

Greencastle’s town center, named The Square, includes an array of hometown businesses – a local printing company, a quaint gift shop, a now-closed barber, the farmers market and City Hall. One can start the day at Starbucks and end it at Moore’s Bar without walking a city block.

The genesis of the project came about over a glass (or two) of limoncello shared between Yo-Yo Ma , the epitome of the 21st-century musician, and the former president of Disney Theme Parks and Resorts, president and CEO of NAVTEQ and DePauw alumnus Judson Green. Looking for a way to empower communities through the arts, Green believed in Greencastle’s potential and swiftly found a willing creative partner in Dean Mark McCoy , who had been looking for opportunities to move beyond the footprint of campus and engage in meaningful ways with the community he calls home.

A dilapidated former Goodwill store became a symbol of possibility–the first step toward uniting the extended Greencastle community through music. Equipped with an entrepreneurial focus and artistic vision, and confident there was a great project in the making, Green and his wife, Joyce, donated the money, then with the dean purchased and renovated the building, drew up a list of ideas he wanted to chase down and invited me into the conversation to help make it a reality.

The possibilities for how this story might unfold seem limitless, but those who have hoped to bring about meaningful change will understand that with change comes risk and even necessary failure. As an institution of higher learning– and one focused on music entrepreneurship – we decided the process was as important as the result. So, to keep us honest, we chose to publicly record the experience on this blog.

The guiding principles going into the project are as follows:

  • Driven by the belief that music and the arts strengthen the cultural fabric of our shared community, Music on the Square fosters a space for courageous music making.
  • Gathering as a community of music lovers, we spark curiosity, expand creativity and cultivate collaboration through one-on-one lessons, adult-learning classes, coached ensembles and radical, breathtaking performances.

I am looking forward to wherever this road leads.

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Mark Rabideau

Mark Rabideau is a cultural entrepreneur, busy re-imagining how we must prepare musicians to thrive within the shifting marketplace and cultural landscape of the contemporary moment. …more 

4 Responses

  1. Congratulations Mark on taking this step towards meaningful change! May I suggest that musicians playing on the street in front of this location is where 21st-Century musicianship begins? I learned a lot busking on the street as a student, and use those skills taking it inside when I joined Classical Revolution more recently. Serving classical music begins with acquiring conviction through practice. That practice today/tomorrow includes playing in adverse and noisy conditions and really entertaining.

  2. Rachel says:

    Dear Mark,
    Great job with all of your endeavors and challenges you’ve taken on with 21CM. It’s so exciting to hear the stories of how this all came together! I’m going to have to take a road-trip to Greencastle.

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