A new aspect of CMW’s weekly staff meetings are “dashboards,” where a member of staff gives an update to the rest of the staff about a particular administrative task that they have been working on throughout the year. I have been in charge of our instruments for the last couple of years and volunteered to do the first dashboard on our beloved violins, violas and cellos. I handed out a synopsis of my dashboard (which you can see below), gave a short presentation, got some valuable feedback from my colleagues and then gave a tour of our instrument supply closet.

Instrument supplies

I would be happy to give anyone a personal tour of our instrument storage facility (which shares space with the CMW nursery) or the instrument supply closet and workbench (which shares space with Arlyn’s dining room). Please come on by anytime to 1392 Westminster Street and ask for Jesse, the male kind.

Download instrument dashboard synopsis: State of the Union

-Jesse Holstein, PSQ

Sharing our model

Click here for the official announcement of our new initiatives to share the CMW model.

"This is an opportunity to both strengthen what we do here in Providence and to share our innovative methods with other communities and institutions. As we’ve thought strategically about our work in the last five years, we’ve been concerned primarily with growing and strengthening our model of a community-based string quartet. Sharing this approach is the next step; we’re extremely grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for enabling us to build on our Fellowship Program, and we’re excited to support a broad array of young professional musicians and students interested in joining this discussion and experiencing this type of work." -Sebastian Ruth, PSQ

Pegs and Eggs: Gimme a No. 8, Shosti Side Up

Patrons at Louie’s Restaurant on Providence’s East Side got a little guerrilla with their grill this Friday afternoon, courtesy of the Providence String Quartet.


Spirits were raised and cholesterol levels lowered as the musicians stormed the infamous diner and played Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 as a warm-up to the weekend’s concerts at Tazza Cafe and Temple Beth-El.


-Liz Cox, CMW staff

My Inauguration Day

It was the Thursday before the big day when my mom and I spontaneously decided to make the pilgrimage to DC. It was convenient for us since my mom’s sister lives in Maryland and we would have a place to stay. Mom and I hadn’t done anything together like this I think EVER! So the power of the moment brought us together to make the decision to go. 

We were among the last, say, 300,000 people to enter the National Mall on Tuesday morning. We couldn’t manage to wake up at 3:30am and get there to stand in the cold for 5 hours. But we arrived at the Mall at around 9:00am and took our places in front of the Jumbotron right near the Washington Monument.


We cheered and booed along with the crowd as the past presidents and officers came through the front doors of the Capitol Building. There was a ton of slander blurted out towards our former Commander and Vice-Commander in Chief that I will choose not to repeat. But it was clear that everyone on that field was glad to see them go and eager to cheer for our new President. 


It’s hard for me to describe the level of anticipation that was in the crowd. Every time they even showed Obama on the Jumbotron before he exited the building, everyone went totally nuts. We just could NOT WAIT to make it official. As he was sworn in my mother wept beside me. I did not weep with her. I was moved in a different way, I think because I was brought up in a world that did not separate me from the rest. I didn’t have to go through what she went through growing up in DC and Columbus, GA in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. As much as I KNOW of the history, I could not feel the pain, and the relief of that pain, the way she did that day. And in part, I am grateful to her for that. I am grateful to all who came before me to make it possible for me to stand there and be a witness to something I actually DID believe, personally, could happen in my lifetime. Perhaps it was sooner than I expected…but we really have come a long way. For the first time in my life, I am proud to be an American. We did good.

-Jessie Montgomery, PSQ

“Surviving Cultural Change”

Diane Ragsdale, Associate Program Officer at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, delivered a speech titled "Surviving Cultural Change" in New York City in October that contains many good ideas for arts nonprofits to consider during an economic downturn. Here is an excerpt that I especially liked:

As many of you probably know, the Slow Food Movement grew up in opposition to the Fast Food Industry. It encourages people to focus, to attend to, the experience of eating-it reminds people of the pleasure and satisfaction that comes with savoring well-made locally-grown food, appreciating the place it came from and the farmers and artisans that grew and prepared it, and enjoying the company of the people with whom you're dining. In other words, the Slow Food Movement has given people a reason to make time for eating.

And this movement, along with cooking shows, has had a powerful influence on our culture. Plenty of Boomers who have no time for [attending arts events] are spending hours shopping at their local farmers market and chopping in their well-equipped kitchens, so they can enjoy gourmet feasts with their friends and families.

I wonder: What would a major Slow Arts Movement look like?

Download a pdf of Diane's entire speech here.

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff