We also had a chance to preview the new exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art that examines the ways we look at the city in which we live. City Self demonstrates a fascinating concept: that our individual perspectives of place evolve dramatically as our relationship to that place evolves. It offers some amazing “views” of Chicago and show sides of the city you may have never before considered.
And, one of the pieces I’m most excited about: there’s our inaugural feature in a new series called Philanthropy and the Arts. Our first feature in the series looks at one of the most important arts relationships there is, the dynamic relationship between the artist (or arts institution) and the corporate sponsor. Contrary to what audiences might believe, sponsors are not simply corporate giants that write checks to pay the bills in exchange for advantageous brand positioning. When done right, sponsors can actually become long term partners in the support of a singular artistic vision, and when cultivated based on shared principles, sponsor relationships are able to create an invaluable advocacy that richly benefits every party involved, from the donor to the artists to the audience.
With any luck, the Winter 2014 issue of Clef Notes will inspire you to examine your own relationship to Chicago arts and culture—maybe even motivate you to broaden it a bit by getting out there and discovering even more of the amazing artistry that moves you this winter. Turn the page…we’ll get you started.

Happy musings!

D. Webb

Winter 2014

Relationships are very tricky things. Each one is individual and distinct with its own nuances and dynamics. Relationships can influence and inspire, or they can dispirit and destroy. They have an enormous impact on just about everything we are and do. 
The new winter issue of Clef Notes Journal is all about those relationships pivotal to arts and culture creation. Those relationships artists experience over the course of their lives have a huge impact on the works they create. Our cover story is a great example of this. Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s associate artistic director, Gary Griffin, has long been known for his deep connection to the work of composer Stephen Sondheim. Over the course of an amazing career, through his own work and through his interaction with the composer, Griffin’s relationship to Sondheim’s plays is what has elevated him to critical renown as one of the foremost interpreters of the composer’s musicals. And it’s that relationship that will be front and center this season at Shakespeare Theater when Griffin mounts two back-to-back productions of Sondheim works. We had an opportunity to sit down with the director and get some intriguing insight into his relationship with Sondheim’s plays and the pivotal role they’ve had in the direction of his career.

From the Publisher's Desk