News & Resources
Most people agree that the world needs more creative responses to the critical environmental issues we face. The Prince Claus Fund and the Goethe-Institut invite exactly this sort of artistic action through their year-long interdisciplinary program “Cultural & Artistic Responses to Environmental Change.”
A new community music hub is forming between the University of Macedonia, the International Centre for Community Music at York St John University, and the Greek Society of Music Education as they prepare to host the first Panhellenic Conference on Community Music on April 29–30 at the University of Macedonia.
Fenia Biniari, Communications Manager, El Sistema Greece, Alexandros Gkonis, Greek composer, and Hasan Labendz, musician, El Sistema Greece
An artist’s creative process is one of the most intriguing aspects of a composition—a giant basket of sights, sounds, ideas, and sensations that bring inspiration. But how do artists select and interpret these elements? And if they really are so personal to us, what happens when we share the contents of those baskets with others?
At El Sistema Greece, the B-Me: Blending Melodies – Bridging Cultural Identities project has given us a window into that process.
Hannah Carpenter, singing teacher and choral director, Surrey, England; Cohort Member, Global Leaders Program 2022
The residential element of the program is designed with the recognition that feelings of isolation and loneliness are common among those with additional needs. Participants make the Leiston Abbey their home, and the course leaders and support staff eat, play, and create alongside them, forming a special, trusting atmosphere.
Sergio Monterisi, Cofounder, El Sistema Opéra Méditerranée
The challenges of climatic changes, the destiny of our planet, the possibility for new generations to take their future in their hands—these very big ideas inspired my colleague Magali Thomas and me to write a new opera for young people.
Patrick Scafidi, Executive Editor, The Ensemble, in conversation with Dijana Opačić, Program Coordinator, Music Art Project
Through a collaborative “Orchestra and Choir of Hope,” children from Branko Pešić get to perform with peers from two music schools with whom MAP cooperates. But Music of Hope leaders realized the students had multiple needs—they were hungry, both emotionally and literally.
Alma Karić, Artistic Director, Superar Bosnia & Herzegovina
I came to identify the issue as one of perception. Music should be seen as a tool for building up communities, for connecting people; for creating bonds of empathy and acceptance between them. And then, in late 2016, these thoughts manifested Superar in my life. “Superar” is a Spanish word that means “to overcome boundaries/obstacles.” What a wonderful and strong word, I thought immediately.
Léa Dao Van, Community Manager, El Sistema Greece
Skaramagas was a place full of life and laughter, where people living under harsh conditions could still surprise you with generosity and optimism. Compared to many refugee camps, it was quite peaceful; I can’t count how many birthday parties, shared meals, and Arabic teas I attended while I worked there. And yet it was also unstable, an ecosystem of hardships and irritations—inevitable when many people of different cultures are forced to live together in a place they would rather not be. Against this backdrop, our students grew up.
Fiona Cunningham, Director, Academy for Impact through Music (AIM)
Our five Pillars of Practice not only articulate areas in which our Firebird Fellows commit to stretch with their students. They also underpin AIM’s approach to teacher training. Teachers need and deserve to participate in empowering experiential learning that informs how they support their students.
Eric Booth, Cofounder, The Ensemble; Senior Advisor/Lead Faculty, AIM
The global field of music for social change is committed, smart, resilient, and brimming with talented teachers, administrators, and students—that’s a lot of assets! But it isn’t organized to learn well and get better as a field. Indeed, as I traveled during the past decade to 25 countries to observe good programs in action, I consistently heard that their two greatest challenges were finances and faculty. These problems haven’t been getting better.