We in the arts are always being told to refine our “elevator pitch”, a succinct account of what we do and who it benefits, delivered presumably to a potential investor with a short attention span with whom we are currently sharing an elevator.
Despite the fact that this situation has never happened to me I have worked diligently on my talk for many years and have even tried, so far without luck, to reduce what we do at the arts organization I founded, Access Contemporary Music, to one perfect, ideally less than Faulknerian-length, sentence.
Then recently I found it right under my nose. We were about to launch our new website and I was looking for snazzy quotes to put on the Support page and found this amazing quote from the Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein. “A Utopian vision of contemporary music for everyone.”
Yes! That’s exactly how I would state our mission in one sentence if I had only had the ability to do so. Weird how someone outside the organization can sum us up so perfectly. My only quibble would be that I have always found Utopian societies to be a bit dull and I’ve lived in a few.
The truth is you need a little excitement once in a while. A good bar fight or something to liven things up. So I would change it to “A Utopian vision of contemporary music for everyone, with the occasional bar fight.” Now that’s an elevator pitch!