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Begin Again

As professional artists, it’s easy to forget what it felt like to be a beginner. Yes, there was the awkwardness of honking sounds, clumsy fingerings and cracked notes, but there was also the joy of learning something completely new and life-changing. This month’s issue focuses on the beginner’s mindset as we encourage you to look at your art and business with new eyes. 

We begin our conversation with a challenge facing performing arts institutions large and small. As a noticeable number of them face slumping subscription sales, how can these organizations engage a new generation of subscribers? One place to begin is to try on a beginner’s mindset and learn what your patrons need from you. Try it out while talking to festival-goers on one of the Summer Festival Road Trips we’ve put together this month. In the process, discover eight summer festivals handpicked for their unique personality and grouped geographically for ease of travel. Visit one or combine them together for the ultimate summer-long music vacation. 

To round out July, cellist Mike Block talks with Mark McCoy about his career and plans for the upcoming Global Musician Workshop, and Jeremy Geffen, director of artistic planning for Carnegie Hall, provides our POP Picks

What area of your life, work and/or art do you want to begin again and redesign? Tell us about it in the comments or write to

Elizabeth Hinckley


The Summer Music Festival Road Trip

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Each year, hundreds of summer music festivals pull out all the stops, showcasing great works performed by stellar artists in spectacular settings. We put together a set of festival road trips, chosen for their diversity of musical experience, geography and timeline.