I don't often talk about a kids music series in a particular city, if only because, by definition, most of my readers don't live there. But New York City's Symphony Space has just announced its 2011-2012 Just Kidding lineup, and while it's worth mentioning just because of the quality of its performers, I think that other entities looking to produce kids music could draw some valuable lessons from the list:
1) Bring in the big names: Elizabeth Mitchell, Recess Monkey, and Justin Roberts are just 3 popular artists playing the series. There is value in having "name" artists who will draw sizable crowds to whom you can promote your other shows.
2) Bring in the up-and-coming names: Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke, Joanie Leeds, Gustafer Yellowgold -- names that have no small amount of popularity, whose audiences may not necessarily be aware of the broader "kindie" world (or who are very aware and are your bread-and-butter 3-or-4-concert attendees.
3) Bring in the new names: Shine and the Moonbeams, Cat and a Bird, Tim and the Space Cadets.
4) Take a chance on the out-of-towners: OK, I realize that Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew), is probably a pretty safe bet. But, still, it's good to mix up the artists.
5) Don't have it all just be music: The "Just Kidding" series is really a "performing arts"-type lineup, not necessarily a music lineup, with folks like the Story Pirates, the Trachtenburg Family Slide Show Players, and Galumpha (who appear to be sort of a Pilobolus for kids) making appearances. (That's not even mentioning the Thalia Kids' Book Club series.) Nobody's going to be able to see everything, but the diversity of performances help cover your bets.
6) Announce everything in advance: Seriously, being able to look eight or ten months out and see a full list of concerts and performances is incredibly reassuring to a parent (and helps for planning purposes).
7) And have a bunch of performances: So you know that, pretty much every Saturday, there's gonna a performance there, and it's probably gonna be pretty good.
So, anyway, it's a good lineup. Details after the jump.
October 1: The Story Pirates
October 8: Women of the Calabash
October 15: Galumpha
October 22: Cat and a Bird
October 29: Ben Rudnick and Friends
November 5: National Dance Institute: The Celebration Team
November 12: Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights
November 19: Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players
December 17: Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower
December 31: Tim and the Space Cadets
January 7: AGA-BOOM
January 8: Stam-Pede
January 14: Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke
January 21: Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem
February 4: Shine & the Moonbeams
February 11/12: The Gustafer Yellowgold Show
February 18: The Okee Dokee Brothers
February 25: Recess Monkey
March 3: Linda Russell
March 17: The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise & the Hare
March 24: Nimbaya!
April 14: Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players
April 21: The Billy Jonas Band
April 28: Caspar Babypants. [Hm. That's Kindiefest 2012 weekend.]