Lawrence University has cultivated a longstanding partnership with Riverview Gardens; faculty and students collaborate to put on interactive and immersive performances. The concerts are always open to the public and free of charge, and each performer or group of performers give a short intro to the piece which includes some context and usually some things to listen for in order to give the audience a more immersive experience. This also gives students the opportunity to practice engaging an audience in another way, and asks students to delve deeper into their music and engage with their performance on another level. Receptions, generously sponsored by Stone Arch Brewpub, provide an opportunity for an informal mingling after the performances. These regular concerts help to bring more music into our community and bring people together to listen, enjoy and learn.
Professors Michael Mizrahi (piano) and Erin Lesser (flute) founded this program modeled on their work in Decoda, which is a collective of versatile artists dedicated to creating dynamic performances and creative programs designed for social impact. Mizrahi and Lesser believe that communities are made stronger through positive interaction and shared experiences, and that music has the power to connect people, transcend social barriers and provide meaningful emotional experiences.