News & Resources
By now, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence program that can “write” an essay or a song by synthesizing information from the Internet. Despite valid reservations about its role in art, some educators and musicians are considering whether they might want to team up with this technology rather than fight it.
The European Commission has set out to show how participation in arts and cultural programs positively impacts youth mental health in a recently published Brainstorming Report, “Youth, Mental Health, and Culture.”
Maryen Muñoz (author), Atteqa Malik, Keziah Ntwiga, Kenneth Mwiti, and Catherine Aziz Shawky, Global Leaders ’23 cohort members
During interviews, BFA Founder Jim Trott emphasized gender inequality as a prominent issue in the places where they work, citing data that indicates the problem has worsened during the pandemic. As Jim referenced several alarming practices—domestic violence, dowry violence, acid attack, forced marriage, sexual harassment, human trafficking, forced prostitution—it became clear to us that our imagined concert would need to raise awareness of this issue.
Thandi Dyani, Network Organizer, BMW Foundation Africa Region, and Trésor Mpauni, Founder, The Tumaini Festival
At first, the participation of the refugee community was meager, because the idea of a festival in a refugee camp was almost inconceivable. After the first one, however, the community got a sense of what a festival is like and what possibilities and opportunities might come from it. News of the festival started spreading all over Malawi and abroad.
Irismer Kasamira, violinist; Founder, El Sistema Congo
In 2021, I started doing online research about great violinists, recorder players, and orchestras. On Facebook, I came across a gentleman named Roberto Zambrano, a great musician and educator and a good person. I said to myself: “I have just found someone with whom to share my ideas.”
Treynor Tumwa and Mark LeVine, Cofounders, Kakuma Sound
Africa’s Great Lakes Region has long been a crossroads for migrations of people, from the Indian Ocean in the east to the tropical forests to the west to the headwaters of the Nile up north. It’s precisely these factors that made Kakuma an ideal location for a refugee camp to shelter peoples from the numerous conflicts along these routes. Almost nowhere else on the planet do musicians from so many different African cultures and countries live in such proximity.
Ronald Kabuye, Project Manager, Brass for Africa
Our recruitment methods are organic and, of course, optional; teachers put on unofficial concerts that help participants feel comfortable and self-assured in performance settings. As young people share in the vibrancy and joy of making music, they begin to see themselves as musicians.
Enrico Palascino, violinist, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB), Germany
Recently, we have created an initiative whereby dedicated musicians from Germany fly to Namibia at regular intervals for the next five to six years to pass on their pedagogical knowledge to the YONA music teacher team. The initiative is already up and running; we recruited the German teachers by selecting them from different European music education programs.
Amanda Holt, Strategic Information Specialist, Field Band Foundation
Six thousand children participate in field bands across South Africa. These bands operate in rural and peri-urban communities that have little in the way of cultural, educational, or public health infrastructure. After-school activities are few. And yet, within these communities’ growing bands, people are growing, too.
Joanna Priwieziencew, who has danced with companies in the U.S., Europe, and Egypt, and now divides her time between the U.S. and Kenya, where she heads the dance program of Ghetto Classics
On the crowded roads of Korogocho, with its 300,000 inhabitants on 1.5 sq. km, its tin homes with no running water and open sewage, and its backdrop of Dandora (an immense, ever-growing, and constantly burning mountain of garbage), one can scarcely imagine encountering a center filled with live arts. But that is the home of Ghetto Classics, where every corner, every room vibrates with music—from Chopin to Tanzanian composer Adam Salim.