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

Sphinx Announces Illuminate Video Series and 2021 Grant Recipients

06-01-2021

The Sphinx Organization recently announced its partnership with the Illuminate Series, focusing on the stories from Black perspectives in classical music. The series was founded and curated by Sphinx programming alumni Steven Banks, Randal Goosby, and Anthony Trionfo. Conversations range from music education during the pandemic, intersectionality between race, identity, and sexuality, and artist activism.

Register for the 2021 YOLA National Symposium

06-01-2021

The 2021 YOLA National Symposium will be held October 20–23, 2021. Happening both in person and virtually, the Symposium will explore the theme of Embracing Change: how to “adopt a transformational approach to teaching, learning, and program design for a stronger future for our young people and communities.” The array of sessions will provide attendees with opportunities to collaborate, share, learn, train, and network. Registration opens on June 3, and the deadline to submit a proposal is July 15. Email yola@laphil.org with questions and visit the YOLA site to register and learn more.

Americans for the Arts 2021 Annual Convention

06-01-2021

Mark your calendars! The Americans for the Arts Annual Convention takes place this year from June 8–11. The conference will remain virtual to ensure safety and maintain accessibility for the entire field, featuring core discussion topics such as: Equity in Creative Recovery, Improving Policies and Practices for the Creative Economy, the Creative Engines of Tomorrow, and Putting Creative Workers and Culture Organizations to Work. The conference requires a profile setup and there is a fee to attend. Learn more details on the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention webpage.

USA TODAY Grant for Community-Building Opens This June

06-01-2021

The USA TODAY NETWORK has started a crowdfunding and grantmaking program from the Gannett Foundation that aims to invest in community-building initiatives across the country. The A Community Thrives initiative allows programs to share their community improvement ideas on a national stage to gain a wider network of support, publicity, and donations.

Securing American Rescue Plan Funds for Your Organization

06-01-2021

Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund hosted a 90-minute webinar in late May on how arts organizations can advocate for state and local governments to designate some of the $350 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Block Grants for the arts.

Americans for the Arts Offers Tips to Access New Government Grants

05-19-2021

On May 26 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT, Americans for the Arts will host an online session about tapping government funding from the American Rescue Plan. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) introduced by the Biden Administration delivers $350 billion in state and local block grants for Coronavirus fiscal recovery.

Sistema NB Student Wins Asian International Youth Clarinet Competition

05-19-2021

You may hear the old prejudice that “social” programs don’t produce musical excellence. Sistema NB student Shinie Wagaarachchi just won a major international prize in music performance.

Global Teaching Artistry Models: Ideas for Reflection

05-05-2021

Artists’ careers will likely undergo considerable transformation over the next decades, as those trained in arts disciplines increasingly invent their own pathways for the future. As the arts expand their mission to include delivering social impact, not only will artists flourish in new contexts, but also, society may well be repositioned to build richer perspectives around the value of the arts and artists in the world.

Abandoning Classical Music Escapism and Redefining Excellence

05-04-2021

In a lot of ways, I was steeped in Black music growing up. It wasn’t until college that I realized there were areas where someone needed to actively be advocating for Black music. I wasn’t totally aware of this because I grew up surrounded by and participating in gospel music, one of the most deep-rooted musical traditions of Black America. When I started studying piano, I was introduced to what many of us know as “classical music,” and began to learn names like Haydn, Bach, and Mozart. This is also the point in time that I usually reference as the beginning of my musical training. Only recently did I notice that distinction, and the reason why is directly tied to what that “musical training” looked and felt like. Though I had been making music for some time, the centering of Western European classical music as the pinnacle of musicianship affected how I thought about my own music-making. Eventually, I realized that this limited musical perspective was doing more than creating a hierarchy—it was inhibiting musicians from tackling crucial and relevant issues, and hindering equity.

Midcasting* Toward Just Futures: Creative Youth Development’s Waymaking to Systems Change through and beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

05-04-2021

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, creative youth development (CYD) organizations have been expanding their work to provide greater support to students, families, and communities impacted by the pandemic. To strengthen this response from the field, The Lewis Prize for Music offered a COVID-19 Response grant to 32 organizations of varying size and geographic locations. Totaling 1.25 million dollars, the fund supported organizations that were leading direct response efforts in their communities. These efforts offered mental health support, food access, housing security, civic engagement support, and academic support, among other things, alongside digital adaptation of regular program activities. Additionally, many CYD organizations supported youth engagement in various forms of movement-building, including, but not limited to, the Black Lives Matter movement and work against voter suppression.

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