The mission of Xenia Concerts Inc. is to offer high quality music and arts performances, presentations, and educational programs, in an environment that welcomes those who might not have access to such events and activities due to physical, mental, or financial barriers. The first ongoing offering of the organization is a series of accessible concerts that are designed to appeal to, and be welcoming of, children on the autism spectrum and their families.
Re-imagining music and arts events and activities to make them inclusive, relevant, and accessible to all members of society, thereby improving quality of life and promoting the enjoyment of the arts.
- Enrichment – Xenia Concerts Inc. fundamentally believes that music and the arts improve the quality of life of all listeners
- Inclusion – Xenia Concerts Inc. believes that everyone should have access to live music events and other arts programming/education
- Quality – Xenia Concerts Inc. believes that an accessible concert or arts event should be of the highest professional quality
- Inspiration – Xenia Concerts Inc. seeks to inspire audiences by exposing them to new arts experiences
- Community – Xenia Concerts Inc. seeks to nurture social development and create community through accessible and inclusive arts events
More About the Concerts
XENIA CONCERTS was launched by the Cecilia String Quartet during the 2014/2015 season as a pilot program to address a barrier in the arts: while it may be a generalization to attach elitism to all classical music concerts, it is difficult to deny that the rich tradition often suggests a very distinctive audience – one that enjoys the art form in stillness and silence. Consequently, people living with autism are often not welcomed to attend these concerts because they have tendencies to move around and make sound. Despite this unfortunate reality, recent scholarship shows that live classical concerts make powerful impressions on those with autism, and can greatly improve their quality of life.
Xenia Concerts Inc. firmly believe that live classical concerts should be inclusive events that enrich the lives of all types of audiences, and that everyone deserves equal access to high quality live performances of classical music. It is this belief that led the members of the Cecilia String Quartet to develop the initial offering of Xenia Concerts Inc: a series of concerts designed to welcome children on the autism spectrum and their families. While the concerts are open to the general public, our unique approach to programming makes these chamber music performances more accessible and appealing for those living with autism while still presenting incredible artists performing incredible classical and jazz masterpieces. Xenia Concerts happen in spaces that allow audiences to listen in the way they feel most comfortable, even if this means moving around and making sound. Audience members can sit, stand, dance, and play with toys as they enjoy the music.
In May 2016 Xenia Concerts Inc. officially became a Non-Profit Organization, and is working with other organizations across North America to bring Xenia Concerts to more and more communities. In the future, Xenia Concerts Inc. will develop new projects that will bring incredible music and art to every person in society regardless of what might stand in their way.
Xenia Concerts Inc. Board of Directors
Robert Williams, President
David Guiney, Secretary
Robert Tanner, Treasurer
David Visentin, Director
Gillian Story, Director
“Our family loved your performance today!… Our kids loved the dance floor area. We just want to say thank you for the opportunity to enjoy a live classical music performance as a family.” Lisa, Toronto
“Wonderful, inclusive event. Brought tears to my eyes to see so many families who wouldn’t be able to experience something like this otherwise, feeling free to move and dance to the music.” Oct 2015
“This was so well thought out. From the venue space to the fidget toys to the dance floor, it was the most accessible event we have been to in a long time.” Oct 2015
“I attended your wonderful concert Sunday with my 2 boys, one of whom has ASD. I am so grateful for the opportunity you are giving us and many other families to experience such a high level of musicianship in a casual, inclusive setting.” Milena, Toronto
“Thank you. It is wonderful to have access to beautiful music without the constraints of a typical ‘quiet’ concert setting. It’s people like you that make the difference to people and families on the spectrum. Thank you.” Feb 2016