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The Classical Music Initiative is an investment in the future of classical music. This project expands the role of radio and new technologies in our classical music communities, and offers great opportunities to inspire appreciation and participation in the arts, build audiences and enrich lives.


American Public Media's regional classical music service reaches nearly 300,000 listeners every week.* Through partnerships with orchestras, vocal ensembles and others, APM brings live performances from around the region to all our listeners. APM also operates one of the most adventurous Internet sites in public media. With archived audio for most programs, the site features thousand of pages of texts, images and hyperlinks on topics ranging from daily news and weather to world-class performances by world-class artists.

Nationally syndicated classical music programs include conversation and performance in Saint Paul Sunday®, adventurous new approaches like American Mavericks® and Classical24® —a 24/7 live-hosted classical music stream that serves 290 stations. APM also produces special programs such as BBC Proms, Music@Menlo and World Choral Spectacular. These programs, with their presence on the radio and the Web, bring the vitality and diversity of classical music to over 5 million* listeners each week.

American Public Media enriches our community locally and nationally, and we are eager to share our inspiration and vision for radio and related technologies to become more effective mediums between artists and audiences in the 21st century.

*Data are copyright Arbitron, Inc. Arbitron data are estimates only. Spring 2003.


The National Endowment for the Arts, an independent agency of the federal government, has been involved in funding the media arts since the mind-1970s. One component of the Endowment's media arts program is its Arts on Radio and Television initiative, which supports a variety of arts programs intended to reach significant national audiences. Only programming of the highest artistic excellence and merit is supported through this initiative. Currently, the annual budget for the NEA's Arts on Radio and Television category is $4.5 million. Over the years, such respected offerings at Thirteen/WNET's Great Performances and Live from Lincoln Center have been funded through this initiative, as have NPR's Performance Today and American Public Media's Saint Paul Sunday.


The health of musical organizations throughout the country, from symphony orchestras and opera companies to chamber groups and choruses, depends on the existence of an engaged public, and it is radio that now and in the future will provide essential sustenance to that public. Music is important to individuals and to our society as a whole, as an example of what the imagination can achieve, as a guide to the emotions, and as Aristotle observed, because it nurtures in us a sense of what is proper and becoming in life. And we believe that radio should furnish the soil in which a love of music can grow in our country. The NEA has awarded a grant of $500,000 to American Public Media, to support the development of concepts, resources, and talents that would shape the next generation of classical music programming on public radio.



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