Since 2015 the Peabody Institute has been repositioning itself in the world of music conservatories, its home community of Baltimore, and as a division of the renowned Johns Hopkins University. This has led to a stimulating period of growth, focused on excellence, innovation, and leading the way in adapting to the changes in the American and international performing arts landscape. Founded in 1857, Peabody is the oldest conservatory in the nation and has a storied history. Over the years, its landmark buildings have seen visiting artists such as Peter Tchaikovsky, Anton Rubinstein, Igor Stravinsky, Nadia Boulanger, and Leonard Bernstein. It counts André Watts, Philip Glass, James Morris, Hilary Hahn, Cyrus Chestnut, Tori Amos, and numerous Grammy Award-winners among its illustrious alumni. Current faculty includes artists such as Marin Alsop, Manuel Barrueco, Leon Fleisher, Marina Piccinini, and two Pulitzer Prize winning composers, Kevin Puts and Du Yun. Guest artist-faculty include Richard Goode, Midori, and Georg Haas.
Peabody is building on its rich history of professional training at the highest level and has developed a vision for the role of the 21st century artist in society and the training required to meet the realities and opportunities of that role. Peabody’s history, tradition, and pedigree, coupled with its forward looking view and commitment to challenge traditional assumptions, allow it to take on the work of what it means to prepare artists for a world that is constantly changing. Peabody’s vision for the future is grounded in its founding 160 years ago as a holistic cultural center for the region.
To realize this vision of marrying the old with the new, and to ensure that Peabody and Johns Hopkins University leverage their competitive advantage, Peabody built its Breakthrough Plan around Five Pillars: Excellence, Interdisciplinary Experiences, Innovation, Community Connectivity, and Diversity.
Between 2015 and 2019, critical initiatives have been advanced to meet these objectives as the following summary illustrates.
Sustainability requires thinking about program evolution from the perspective of the Five Pillars in the context of a sustainable academic-business model. A five-year model (FY18-FY22) is guiding the Institute in moving toward greater sustainability. For FY18 and FY19, the first two years of the five-year plan, Peabody finished ahead of key financial targets, performing favorable to budget by $2 million over a two-year period. Components of the model include:
Through implementation of the Breakthrough Plan, Peabody has enjoyed a strong trajectory of change and growth touching virtually every aspect of the institution including enrollment, the launch of new programs, curriculum innovation, diversity, faculty governance and recruitment, community engagement, Peabody’s relevance and unique role as a school in one of the world’s top research institutions, and the Institute’s financial health and sustainability. It is therefore timely to engage in a renewal process to take stock of the Breakthrough Plan today, and to assess the ongoing fit of initiatives in support of the Five Pillars – Excellence, Interdisciplinary Experiences, Innovation, Community Connectivity, and Diversity – and to make refinements and revisions within the framework of the plan to position Peabody for the next five years. Throughout the 2019-20 academic year this process is engaging more than 90 faculty, staff, students, volunteers and alumni in work groups in order to help shape the next incarnation of Peabody’s Breakthrough Plan. Following is the process and timeline for this ongoing work.
Process: The Breakthrough Plan Steering Group oversees the process of renewal of the Breakthrough Plan for the next five years, and serves as the umbrella for individual Work Groups as follows:
Timeline: August 1, 2019 – May 1, 2020