Funding & Support
The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
Sphinx Opens Calls for Sphinx Performance Academy and the SphinxConnect 2021 Conference—deadline Feb. 9
Sphinx is accepting applications for the Sphinx Performance Academy, a “full-scholarship intensive summer chamber music and solo performance program with a focus on cultural diversity.” In collaboration with the Curtis Institute of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and The Juilliard School, the program is offered to string musicians ages 11–17. Participating students will have a chance to learn from active and celebrated chamber musicians and university faculty from across the country. Applications are due February 9, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Vocal Justice, a culturally affirming public speaking program, will welcome its first cohort of high school educators in January 2021 as part of its Vocal Justice Teaching Fellowship, designed to empower Black and Brown high school students to become leaders in their communities. Between February and May 2021, selected Fellows will facilitate weekly virtual one-hour workshops with a consistent group of students, teaching them how to communicate authentically and persuasively about social justice issues. Applications are due by Friday, January 8 at 3 p.m. PST, and there is a paid stipend for participation if selected.
The Looking Out Foundation seeks to amplify the impact of music by empowering those without a voice, funding causes and organizations that often go unnoticed. Grants range between $1,000 and $5,000, and application deadlines are February 1 and August 1. Additional information about the Foundation is here and the application guidelines are here. Starting in 2008, multiple GRAMMY-winning artists Brandi Carlile and Tim and Phil Hanseroth banded together with fans, nonprofits, and corporations “to translate voices of song to voices of action”—$1 from every concert ticket sold goes directly into this fund.
The Lewis Prize for Music seeks out, honors, and supports programs they consider to be “catalysts” in the U.S. field for community-driven, high-quality music learning opportunities. The goal is to target and amplify programs that spark positive change in society. Listed among this year’s finalists is Atlanta Music Project, under the direction of Dantes Rameau and Aisha Moody; last year’s three grant recipients included Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI.
The Atlanta Music Project has announced a refreshing new initiative: the AMP Academy Rare Instrument Program. Virtual one-on-one lessons for instruments, including oboe, bassoon, viola, percussion, French horn, and voice, are available tuition-free to any young person in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, regardless of their prior experience. Students admitted to the AMP Academy Rare Instrument Program will receive weekly virtual lessons with an AMP teaching artist, perform solo recitals, and even participate in masterclasses with renowned artists. Learn more .
ArtPlace America and Welcoming America have released a report exploring how arts and cultural practitioners have long been and may increasingly be partners in helping to achieve community development goals: Bridging Divides, Creating Community: Arts, Culture, and Immigration. ArtPlace America recently completed its ten-year mission as a leading funder of creative placemaking in the U.S., and they are publishing their learning in a series of reports. This report is the eighth in their series of cross-sector field scans, examining arts and culture as “a platform that helps immigration policy expand beyond a singular focus on border security to one that embraces a broader national vision of inclusive economic development, community connection and cohesion, and welcoming communities in which all people can thrive.”
The European Parliament Celebrates the Rights of the Child on November 20, in Partnership with Sistema Europe and the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group
The Board of Sistema Europe invites its European Association and Network members to join in celebrating World Children’s Day on November 20. Sistema Europe has been invited by the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group to participate in an online celebration of the rights of the child, streaming live on Friday, November 20, from 16:10–17:00 CET. Colleagues in all countries are invited to attend the live stream, available at this Zoom link, and details will be published on www.sistemaeurope.org in due course.
Teachers working in high-need communities may want to explore STAT, or Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma. Geared primarily toward PreK–12 educators, STAT offers a five-module, self-paced course that invites participants to engage in a range of STS learning interactives, explore scenarios that highlight the impact of STS, listen to teachers describe their experiences, and more.
Classics for Kids Foundation offers matching grants to K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. to help purchase high-quality stringed instruments and to build sustainable stringed instrument music programs. Grants cannot exceed 50% of total instrument cost. Requests are reviewed quarterly and the upcoming application deadline is December 31, 2020. Learn more here.
Applications are now open for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Ensembles. Please let your most promising students know about NYO2, a free orchestra program of intensive training and performance opportunities with a track record of recruiting musicians from communities underrepresented in classical music. The National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA) deadline is November 12 ; the NYO2 application is due December 1; and NYO Jazz is due by January 21. All are free and led by distinguished artists.