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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.

The Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composer Apprentice Project

06-01-2021

In 1983, just a few years out of music conservatory, my husband Robert Bonfiglio and I embarked on a vacation to the American Southwest. We started our trip at the Grand Canyon, with our instruments in our backpacks, a rim-to-rim-to-rim four-day hike through the canyon. The first evening, with my aching feet soaking in the cold waters of the Colorado River, I took out my flute and played. The following morning, we packed up and headed up the floor of the canyon to Cottonwood campground, where I found a washed-out tree trunk to rest under and again played my flute. A park ranger followed the sound of the flute and, when he found us, invited us to the ranger’s hut that evening to play a concert.

Reflections on Our Shared Lineage

06-01-2021

In October of 2008, sitting alongside Maestro José Antonio Abreu, I experienced a moment of clarity. We were visiting the state of Trujillo in the far-northwest corner of Venezuela, where the state’s six major núcleos had formed a special orchestra to put on a command performance for the Maestro. A group 200 strong, all between 10–25 years old. A breathtaking interpretation of the first movement of Mahler’s First Symphony ensued, the type of concert I had experienced so many times with awe. But then Maestro Abreu addressed the orchestra. He set out his vision for each of their lives, full of contribution, artistry, and joy. At one point he asked, “Who of you wants to be a teacher?” Every hand shot up; every face was shining. My first thought was: “What a beautiful tribute to the community of educators nurturing these young people.” I came away with the profound understanding that teaching was at the core of it all.

Tracking SEL Growth in Students with the Light My Music Fire Workshops

06-01-2021

Earlier this year, Dan Trahey and Pete Tashjian of The Collective Conservatory were invited by the Harmony Program to facilitate an eight-week Saturday-morning creativity workshop with students from multiple Harmony Program sites across New York City. The partnership was a natural fit. The Collective Conservatory’s work is rooted in creating environments that allow for personal expression, group problem-solving, self-esteem building through promoting individual assets, self-awareness, and increased musical skill sets. The Harmony Program, which provides after-school music education programs in underserved NYC communities, has long prioritized the development of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) skills. As a natural extension of The Collective Conservatory’s programming, the workshop emphasized SEL to create a framework and pathway to concretely study creativity.

 

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.

The Lewis Prize for Music Opens Applications for 2022 Accelerator Awards

06-01-2021

The Lewis Prize for Music is now accepting 2022 Accelerator Awards applications. Accelerator Awards are open to Creative Youth Development (CYD) music organizations seeking to influence youth-serving systems so that all young people have access to learning, creating, and performing experiences that reflect their culture and identity. Applications are open until July 16, 2021, at 5 p.m. PST.

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.

Suggested Reading: We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

06-01-2021

If you attended YOLA’s National Symposium in 2019, you won’t forget Dr. Bettina Love’s stirring keynote. Love is the Founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network; her new book, We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, delves into the ways in which the American education system actually makes profits on the suffering of children of color.

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.

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