BOSTON, Mass.—The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) is pleased to announce it is the recipient of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s (MNN) 2016 Excellence Award in Communications. The award recognizes a nonprofit that effectively deploys strategic messaging to carry out its mission.
BGMC was honored for its communications work on last year’s groundbreaking Middle East Tour, which showcased the organization as an agent of social change and demonstrated that music performed by an openly gay male choral group can move audiences to a deeper understanding of LGBT people.
The award was presented by Rasky Baerlein President Joseph T. Baerlein, who noted that “judges were impressed with the group’s goals, strategy, and execution.”
“We are absolutely over the moon to receive this award from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, which does so much to promote the Commonwealth’s nonprofit sector,” said Reuben Reynolds III, BGMC’s music director. “When we embarked on our tour of the Middle East we were confident our music would build bridges and break down barriers in the communities we visited. But our communications for the Tour amplified our voices far beyond the concert venues. It enabled our fans and other arts enthusiasts at home to see our impact in real time and allowed BGMC to reach a global audience with our message that even in this complicated world, BGMC’s musical experiences inspire change, build community, and celebrate difference.”
BGMC made history in June 2015 when it became the first gay chorus to tour the Middle East, performing concerts in Israel and Turkey. BGMC connected with its supporters, as well as concert-goers, through videos, blog posts, and social media that documented the Tour in real time. Social media posts about Tour performances were shared by US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro; Consul General of Israel to New England Yhuda Yaakov; Turkish LGBT activist Baris Sulu (the country’s first openly gay parliamentary candidate); the Kadikoy City Council LGBT Assembly of Turkey; LGBTI News Turkey; US Consulate General to Istanbul Charles Hunter, and numerous local leaders. The Middle East Tour was also extensively covered by traditional media in Boston, Israel, and Turkey.
“Outreach and education is a core of BGMC’s mission so to have our communications work on this landmark tour recognized by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network is deeply meaningful,” said BGMC Executive Director Craig Coogan. “We are particularly grateful to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Board of Directors for selecting us from among such esteemed finalists and to Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu for nominating us. But more than anything, we are grateful to the people of Israel and Turkey for hearing our stories, enjoying our music, and supporting LGBT equality.”
Boston Gay Men’s Chorus creates musical experiences to inspire change, build community and celebrate difference. The BGMC is one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses. Founded in 1982, the 175-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, and groundbreaking community outreach. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III, the BGMC sings a wide spectrum of classical and popular music and creates social change by providing a positive, affirming image of the gay and lesbian community. The Chorus is heard live by more than 10,000 people each season and thousands more through recording, television and internet broadcasts. In November 2013 CBS-WBZ named The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus one of the top 5 choirs in the city of Boston. In June 2015, BGMC became the first LGBT chorus to tour the Middle East.
[From a News Release]