News and Resources
The National Guild for Community Arts Education is a national service organization that supports creative youth development programs and teaching artists, prioritizing social justice in the arts. With current financial strains for everyone, they now offer a pay-what-you-can membership for organizations and individuals. Maybe now is the time to join and discover what they provide for their members: contact email@example.com to learn more. The Guild also offers community conversations—virtual water cooler chats—about key issues, no pre-registration required. Find them on the fourth Monday of each month, 2:00pm EDT. All who support, work in, or lead youth arts programming are welcome.
New England Conservatory’s Center for Professional Development and Performing Arts Leadership offers a two-day online workshop “Understanding El Sistema” on June 5-6, 2020. It is designed for teaching artists, administrators, and those looking to enter the creative youth development sector; faculty will include Heath Marlow (Center Director), Erik Holmgren (Mass Cultural Council) and Rodrigo Guerrero (formerly from the Mass Cultural Council), Tina Lee Hadari (Music Haven founder), Laura Jekel (MYCincinnati founder), and other featured presenters.
Two articles by Dennie Palmer Wolf of WolfBrown, one of the nation’s most respected arts learning researchers, plant significant markers in the field. “Teaching Artists as Essential Workers: Respect, Collaboration, and Heft” is a rare researcher’s recognition of the importance and vulnerability of the teaching artist workforce. She sees teaching artists as first responders and champions of social equity, pointing out what they need to thrive and—in this crisis time—to survive.
The Sphinx Competition is a national competition offering young Black and Latinx classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges, and to perform with and receive mentorship from established professional musicians. The repertoire requirements for the 24th Annual Sphinx Competition have been announced and applications have opened online.
The Lewis Prize recently announced their COVID-19 Community Response Fund, which will award $1 million in grants to support youth-serving music programs in their responsive and adaptive efforts during COVID-19. Here is a toolkit that includes more information about the fund. The application process for their annual Accelerator Award will begin as soon as the Community Response grants are awarded.
The just-launched Collective Conservatory is a bold response to the pandemic crisis. Describing it as “Immersive Online Music Education,” founder Daniel Trahey and a faculty of established teaching artists, wellness advisors, and volunteer cultural ambassadors deliver holistic, customized, music-centered programs to partner organizations over the Internet. Read this issue’s Guest Perspectives column on this page to learn more from Daniel Trahey.
Free professional development clock hours have been made available by the National Association for Music Education in response to the unprecedented cancelations of conferences and shift to online teaching. These resources, including ten webinars from NAfME Academy, 14 articles from Music Educator Journal, and Live Professional Learning Community webinar series, are peer-reviewed and specifically developed for and by music educators.
Buffalo String Works in Buffalo, NY has worked with refugee students from Afghanistan, Burma, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Syria. Though inspired by the international El Sistema model, the organization faced plenty of cultural hurdles in working to serve the diverse population. Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership has written a case study examining the early years of BSW as it worked to adapt to the needs of the community. Read more to learn how they strived for “cultural humility” and musical excellence simultaneously—these lessons in inclusion can be applied to all programs, no matter their makeup.
A sense of safety and connectedness is the foundation of successful student learning, but natural disasters can cause turmoil. The impacts of the current pandemic have upended all our familiar routines and rituals, so we must re-dedicate ourselves to these practices. New York City’s WHIN Music Community Charter School cleverly addresses the issues of familiarity and routine for their disrupted students in a video that welcomes them to their online classes.
Have you heard good ideas from your students or young colleagues about ways they might engage in music-making with other isolated students? Now, there just might be a grant to support that idea for young people ages 13-25: Peace First’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants. Apply here.