August Basket 2021
News & Resources
During the height of the pandemic last year, the Art Global Health Center continued its push to create projects that use art to find sustainable solutions to social challenges. One of their feature projects, “Make Art for Women’s Activism (MAWA),” uses artistic expression to call out gender inequality and violence against women, labeling them as their own global pandemic. The MAWA program engages civil organizations to develop ideas that address these challenges through “participatory arts” and “human-centered design approaches.” The project runs through 2023 in five districts of Malawi. Read more about this and Art Global Health Center’s other sustainable art projects at ArtGloAfrica.
Jewish Helping Hands’ Tikkun Olam Grant Program helps vulnerable populations across the world by supporting projects focused on economic development and social empowerment, with a particular emphasis on those demographics that have been overlooked or marginalized. Projects in the United States, East Africa, and Central America, as well as regions worldwide with impoverished Jewish populations, are given priority. Grants range up to $10,000 for projects in the U.S. and up to $5,000 for projects in other countries. Initial inquiry forms must be submitted by September 14, 2021; invited full applications will be due December 14, 2021. Visit the Jewish Helping Hands website to learn more.
The International Teaching Artist Collaborative (ITAC) continues to host monthly Think Tank sessions for those looking to learn from and share with their international colleagues. Each session is led by a teaching artist from a different part of the world, who offers insight and moderates discussions around topics pertinent to the field. Sessions are listed through February ‘22; the next Think Tank takes place on Tuesday, August 31 (time TBA), and will explore teaching artistry’s role in developing “Future Literacy, Future Fluency, Future Competency, and Future Consciousness.” Some Think Tanks lead directly into working groups of artists from around the world who are passionate about a topic, and together they take on field-changing projects. Registration is free and easy through this ITAC Google Form, and archived sessions are available on their website.
An Orchestra of the Americas alum has started an international music festival offering young musicians week-long intensive sessions with renowned faculty from the Orchestre de Paris, Metropolitan Opera, and other world-class institutions. The International Chamber Music Festival of Elqui is open to ambitious young musicians studying piano, strings, winds, and percussion, and will take place this November at Chile’s University of La Serena. Check out their website for more information, and follow their Facebook and Instagram accounts for upcoming information on how to register.
Are you in need of some fresh material for grants, or some strong talking points for meetings with potential donors? Take a look at this article that summarizes over 200 different scientific studies on the advantages of music education. Published on Stars & Catz, “Benefits of music education statistics (200+ studies)” sorts those aforementioned benefits into unique categories, helping you search for the points that most support your advocacy. Interestingly—and perhaps helpfully—the resource shares that “80% of the studies carried out on this topic have been published in the last 12 years.”
The Global Arts team has curated a series of “Power Hour” professional development sessions around the topics of “Adultism” (with new El Sistema USA president Angelica Cortez), “Injury Prevention for Musicians,” and “Restarting My Music Classroom.” All sessions are available for free on Vimeo.
In addition to the sessions, the Global Arts team has shared a fun playlist you might use to close out the summer with your students, created by young Global Arts participants. Students compiled this “GALA Summer Playlist” while participating in the GA’s three-week summer program.
You know that you are still listening in the pauses between notes—but what does silence sound like to the brain? An article from Technology Networks seeks to answer that question. “The Sound of Silence: What Happens When Our Brains Imagine Music?” shares findings from two studies to demonstrate how the brain stays active during moments of silence, or rests. Using Bach’s melodies, researchers found that brain activity is very similar when both imagining and listening to music, producing similar patterns and brain wave responses that demonstrate the complex nature of processing music, notes, and sound.
What has the field of participatory arts for social change learned about ethics in its decades of growth? We have, in fact, developed best practices—do you know them? There is a new, free, digital notebook, written by two leaders in the field and edited by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, called “Art and Community Notebooks.” It follows a January workshop hosted by the Foundation’s PARTIS program, which included nearly 100 participants from both sides of the Atlantic discussing “Ethics and Participatory Art.” Available in both Portuguese and English, the notebook is written by colleagues with decades of experience: cultural activist and visual artist Arlene Goldbard, who lives in the U.S., and writer, researcher, and community artist François Matarasso. Download the notebook via the Gulbenkian Foundation.
Ever wondered what the largest wind instrument in the world sounds like? Look no further than the railings of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. During periods of high winds, the newly renovated railings produce an eerie humming sound that has caught the attention of locals and tourists alike. That includes Los Angeles guitarist and musician Nate Mercereau, who was inspired to record a series of duets with the world’s biggest wind instrument. Read more about composing a duet for musician and bridge, and listen to his project, Duets | Golden Gate, via this Guardian article.
Here is an extra item for those with access to funding. Musicians Without Borders is hosting its Musical Leadership Summit on October 11–15 in Ede, Netherlands. This year’s focus: “Innovative Approaches Responding to the Needs of Displaced People.” Pre-sessions will happen in September and there is a €895 fee to attend. The fee covers all aspects of the week apart from travel expenses. Attendees are asked to have some musical background, leadership experience, and a strong interest in music for social change. More information about the Summit can be found on the MWB website.