In 1994 Detroit Symphony Orchestra bassist Rick Robinson began to build what became the CutTime Productions artistic enterprise printing his first editions for solo bass. Over 16 years it grew flexible and bold by extending symphonic music professionally into churches, schools and festivals. Encouraged by a Kresge Fellowship and the Classical Revolution movement in 2010, Robinson began bringing his huge library of transcriptions and award-winning compositions for his two CutTime ensembles to the masses in bars, clubs and coffeehouses during the 6-month DSO Strike.
After the death of his father and the fundamental artistic turnover following the damaging strike, Robinson committed himself to develop and share CutTime® nationally in 2012. Since then he leads freelancers, students and orchestra members to make classical music accessible, practical and fun in clubs, restaurants, offices, homes and even the streets.
In 2013 Crain’s Detroit Business recognized him with a social entrepreneur award, saying, “Robinson is bringing classical music to the masses— which may be one of the most challenging jobs in all of music.”
In 2015 CutTime Productions matched a $30,000 Knight Arts Challenge Grant and Detroit Free Press Music Critic Mark Stryker wrote:
Robinson has been an innovative force in bringing chamber ensembles into nontraditional venues and classrooms, mixing it up with a variety of creative repertoire and generally proving that classical music belongs not on the fringes of contemporary culture but at the heart of everyday life.
CutTime leads the series of intimate, middle-brow events to deliver evenly on both sides of the arts-entertainment coin. Wider communities often join the music-making on toy percussion, and sometimes give away so they spread the joy. We expect to grow the mission with national touring, recordings, royalties, partner organizations and charitable donations thru Fractured Atlas*. CutTime has touched around 10,000 lives over 23 years. Sharing classical music in bars may not be very popular; but it IS very necessary. We need to touch the next 10,000 in 2 years by establishing chapters across the region.
Join the Detroit philanthropists who have generously supported this mission since 2011.
How can CutTime be sure its methods are working?
Objective metrics take considerable time and money to collect; time and money we’d rather apply to operations and programs, esp. understanding that the best signs of success are verbal and anecdotal. Over the years, CutTime has collected priceless praises:
- Bar and restaurant owners/managers recognizing the potential for this alternative
- A homeless man calling classical beautiful music
- The hipster declaring, It’s a great sound
- An elderly woman tearfully recalling learning violin in school
- A middle-aged black woman bringing her violin to join us for Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
- A 15 year-old composer premiering his 3rd string quartet before a surprised audience
- Some elders tearing up (shining eyes)
- Some young adults stop talking and texting to actually watch and listen for a time
- Seasoned orchestra musicians saying, “I LOVE what you’re doing: it is SO needed.”
- Seasoned orchestra managers saying, “I wish we had MORE musicians doing what you’re doing.”
CutTime inspires new listeners and musicians with humble-yet-bold classical events.
We seek to help communities and classical ideas to sustain each other. (Humanities) Ours is a mission of love (agape) we know will spread in positive-yet-unpredictable ways.
Won’t you please join us?
- Support the overall CutTime Project with a donation thru 501(c)3 Fractured Atlas.
CutTime® is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non‐profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of CutTime must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law.
- Dive Deeper here.