A Modern Approach

to Classical Music

The Story

National Sawdust, a nonprofit music venue in the neighborhood of Williamsburg Brooklyn, sought to introduce young audiences to new music (a current term for modern classical music).

Programming the Right Artists for the Audience & the Venue

Programming innovative artists pushing genre boundaries who would also appeal to the young, hip, Brooklyn audience was an initiative I launched to help National Sawdust expand its market reach. 

The challenge was to find artists who reflected elements of New Music and could leverage the unique capabilities of the space to create an artistic experience unrivaled by typical Brooklyn music venues.

National Sawdust went from 42% sell out rate to an 82% sell out rate in just one year.

Electronic producer Four Tet  paired his cerebral, atmospheric instrumentals with a dazzling lighting setup of over 100 LED strings lights that immersed audiences. The lights, designed to synch to the explosive musical set, created an awe-inspiring, immersive sonic masterpiece that needed to be experienced to be believed.

Satori came to National Sawdust in an effort to introduce his typically late night club fans to his new, live music work. Drawing  inspiration from his Syrian and South African heritage, he tapped into Balkan instrumentation and tribal percussion, presenting a live set along side his historically all electronic music.

The  programming brought new audiences into the venue. Once won over by the venue’s incomparable 360º sound mapping audio system—which creates the illusion of sound moving around you in three-dimensional space—we took the next steps, introducing these new consumers to the dynamic world of New Music. Buyers, impressed with their initial experience, returned for performances by legendary musicians such as Joan TowerNico Muhly and Terry Riley and more.

Creating a High End Gala that Appealed to National Sawdust's New Audiences

In 2019, National Sawdust Hosted Its Highest Grossing Gala to Date, Netting $5 million in Donations.

In 2019 National Sawdust partnered with Sotheby’s, the premier destination for auctions and private sales of Contemporary, Modern & Classic Art to host their gala.

Tapping into their network of esteemed performers, the institution presented work by and honored legends David Byrne and Black Thought.

The gala, which sought to engage old and young donors alike, ranked as the venue’s highest grossing fundraiser to date.

We achieved National Sawdust’s goal of serving as a home for music discovery.