On June 11, 2022, the Dunedin Music Society (DMS) hosted a #Vision26 summit to review progress since its previous (pre-pandemic) strategy session in 2019, discuss new plans, and develop objectives that will carry the organization through the next few years. Directors serving on the DMS Board and members of the DMS Executive Committee, led and facilitated by General Director Stephen P. Brown, met together at the Countryside Country Club in Clearwater (thanks to a generous donation from Julie Taylor Pantziris) for a day of brainstorming and vision-casting. During the day, they focused on celebrations of the past and new paths for the future.
First, they all celebrated multiple “wins” that the organization accomplished since 2019, including significant improvements in company culture, improved quality of participants’ musicianship, expansion of programs, and a marked increase in funding. The committed team praised the efforts that the organization had been making over the past few years to continue connecting local communities with live music through various means. They also looked to the growth of the future with an optimism characteristic of the DMS.
Full funds, staff, & facilities
Looking forward to 2026, by which time the objectives set forth would ideally be realized, the combined teams decided that three main elements forming their shared vision were paramount for the DMS: to become fully funded as an organization, to be able to hire a fully paid staff, and to operate out of its own facility. Full funding, led by a Development Director, would include the appointment of an Executive Director and Artistic Director initially on a part-time basis, as well as other staff and contracted positions. It has long been an ambitious goal of the DMS to have its own building, as well. This building would ultimately house a concert hall with ample parking outdoors for audience members, rehearsal spaces for DMS ensembles, classrooms and instrument storage spaces, office spaces for staff, and reception area. This new facility would do much for the organization, not only in terms of creating an autonomous “home base”, but it would also solidify its place in the local area while providing a destination for residents and visitors from other parts of the country.
Each summit attendee submitted their workbooks full of notes to a smaller workgroup, and a “Vision26 Strategy Document” as it came to be called, was submitted to the Board of Directors once all the comments were collated. The Directors then gave their feedback and a majority was needed in order for the document to be approved. This meticulous and scrupulous process took a couple of months during the summer, in order to ensure that everyone was in agreement with the way forward before the final draft of the document was published. The process, also keeping in line with the values of the DMS, demonstrated the kind of accountability among its members that the organization is continually proud of and strives for.
One of the Dunedin Music Society’s values is “doing the ‘scary’ thing” – but as a group, it was determined that “scary” merely means “courageous”. The objectives may seem lofty to some, but the DMS believes that live music is truly essential for the heart, both physically and emotionally, and is looking very much forward to realizing its ambition, and continuing to connect local communities with vital live music experiences they can carry with them forever.
Download the full #Vision26 document here.