Funding & Support

The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Grants for Innovative Practices in K-12 Education

03-03-2020

The Braitmayer Foundation supports innovative practices in K-12 education in the US, especially curricular and school reform initiatives and professional development opportunities for teachers. Apply for seed grants, challenge grants, and matching grants of up to $35,000. Letters of inquiry may be submitted through March 15, 2020.

Editorial: March 2020

03-03-2020

Institutional funders of El Sistema-inspired programs are typically limited to those dedicated to the arts and arts education. Foundations supporting social programs might think, “Why would we fund Sistema? That’s arts, which we don’t do.”

The Lewis Prize for Music 2020 Announces Awardees

02-04-2020

The Lewis Prize for Music 2020 Awardees have been announced. The Lewis Prize believes that music in the lives of young people is a catalytic force to drive positive change in society. Each of the awardees is doing exemplary work to build community, foster engaged citizens and support the holistic growth of young people through music. Learn more about the ten inspiring changemakers here. A special congratulations to Lewis Prize 2020 Awardee Sebastian Ruth, Founder and Artistic Director of Community MusicWorks. Sebastian recently penned The Ensemble’s editorial in November, which you can read here. His Lewis Prize will support a new alumni fellowship and leadership of the MusicWorks Network of community-based music programs, which collaborate across the eastern United States to spread and deepen the work with and for the youth they serve.

Fund for Teachers Awards

01-07-2020

Does your program work with an inspired K-12 teacher (or teacher team) who desires to find ways of forming a deeper connection with your program? If so, share this fellowship opportunity with them. The Fund for Teachers awards individual fellowships (up to $5,000) and team fellowships (up to $10,000) for teachers to immerse themselves more deeply in fields of study that relate to their teaching. The application deadline is January 30, 2020.

Two-Year Grants for Teaching Artists

01-07-2020

The Jubilation Foundation seeks the joyful side of human nature for a whole and healthy world. They believe that “music and movement, wherever and however they happen, promote well-being in the individual and the community.” They provide two-year grants to U.S. teaching artist Fellows ($5,000 a year, for two years) “who serve as a link to a world filled with more joy.” Maybe you? Click here to find out more. The application deadline is January 15.

Gen C Incubator Projects Announced

01-07-2020

On December 5, 2019, the organization Creative Generation announced the first ten projects to be included in the Gen C Incubator. The Gen C Incubator boosts the work of young professionals who are dedicated to building creative capacity in young people to help them serve as creative community developers. The Incubator taps the expertise of artists, educators, and community leaders around the globe to support a pilot cohort of ten selected projects proposed by young professionals and organizations, a cohort that includes an Arts Management Exchange, Innovation Collaborative, and Leadership Network for Arts Education & Special Needs. Check out the full list of projects and read more here.

Amplifying Voices Chosen as Sphinx Venture Fund Recipient

01-07-2020

The Amplifying Voices program seeks to increase the support and promotion for composers of color, make space at the table for them in artistic planning and decision making at major national orchestras, and make major strides toward transforming the classical canon to include an equitable representation of works by composers of color. The Sphinx Organization has chosen New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program as a 2020 Sphinx Venture Fund Recipient. Read more here.

El Sistema Program Focuses on Immigrant Children

01-07-2020

This month marks the launch of the first El Sistema program in the country specifically dedicated to young people impacted by the immigration crisis at the southern border. The pilot program, in the border town of Tornillo, Texas, will be administered by Tocando, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s El Sistema -inspired program, and the Tornillo public school district. Children living with the acute stresses of displacement and immigration will participate in immersive music learning both during and after school. The pilot is funded by NAMM, the Leonard Bernstein Foundation, and private donations—including one from El Sistema Greece in solidarity for serving immigrant children worldwide. The U.S. El Sistema community can support this initiative by offering supplies, visits from experienced teaching artists, or by making contributions. Contact: alejandro@tocandomusicproject.org.

Mourning and Honoring a Student Leader

01-07-2020

The hours, days, and weeks following the death of Draylen Mason at the hands of a serial bomber in March of 2018 are difficult to look back upon. To lose any student is indescribably tragic, but losing Dray was a deep and personal anguish to all of us at Austin Soundwaves (ASW); he was, and continues to be, the heart and soul of our El Sistema-inspired program. In mourning, we learned how much we at ASW depend on our students, sometimes leaning on them just as much as (or more than) they lean on us. Their strength was remarkable during that time, and the energy that typically fuels teenage intransigence was instead diverted two-fold into leading music-making and creating remembrances for Dray. We grieved and didn’t simply move on. And though it would have been easy to focus on the perniciousness of the circumstances, we felt a grave and humbling responsibility to persist in recognizing and commemorating Draylen’s growing legacy.

Resources, December 2020

12-03-2019

If you are inspired by the lead article in this issue of The Ensemble and are interested in starting an El Sistema-inspired school, the Walton Family Foundation: Innovative Schools Program grant can help. They support educators who open all types of K-12 schools, particularly schools that look and feel truly different, achieve unprecedented outcomes, serve high-need students, and embrace successes and challenges to share with other schools.

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