October News 2021

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

A Partnership to Amplify Black Teaching Artists and Afrocentric Pedagogy


By now, you likely know about Creative Generation and The Black Teaching Artist Lab (BTAL); we’ve shared many of their resources over the past year. As of mid-August, the two organizations have formed a partnership aimed to support BTAL’s mission to provide Black teaching artists with an Afrocentric SEL teaching framework.

Microgrants for Arts Workers of Color


ARTNOIR’s Jar of Love Microgrants provide relief for artists, curators, and cultural workers of color, launched to ensure that the next generation of Black and Brown arts workers are supported. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and open to all arts workers living in the fifty states, territories, and Tribal Nations. Check out the application process on ARTNOIR’s website, and learn more about ARTNOIR—a female-majority and minority owned global collective based in NYC—here.

Two Opportunities from Sphinx—Deadline Oct. 20


Sphinx LEAD (Leaders in Excellence, Arts & Diversity) is accepting applications for its next cohort. The two-year leadership program is designed “for arts administrators and leaders looking to slingshot their careers to executive-level placement.” Ten arts leaders of color will be selected to participate in a curriculum that includes mentorship, networking, and leadership retreats at top institutions nationwide, including both on-site and virtual learning. Applications are due by October 20; visit SphinxLEAD.org to learn more and apply.

The 25th Annual Sphinx Competition will take place January 26–29, 2022. This national competition offers 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 professional musicians. Prizes range from $3,000 to the $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize. The deadline for your students to apply is October 20; read the FAQs and requirements on the Sphinx site.

Funding for Early Childhood Programs


The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood is looking to support programs that enhance and bring quality of life to children from birth to seven years old. They are especially seeking “innovative curricula” and “the design of imaginative play materials and learning environments”—something our field understands better than most. What better way to encourage imaginative play than with inclusive, collaborative music learning? Grants are designed to act as seed money, so if you know of a new program still looking to get off the ground, consider sharing this with them. Visit earlychildhoodfoundation.org to learn more and apply.

Virtual Event: ‘Our Shared Future’


All teaching artists know the value of our sharing our perspective in larger global contexts. That’s especially true now during this ongoing pandemic recovery effort. If you’re interested in continuing those conversations, then you’re invited to a virtual event on December 7–9, 2021: “Our Shared Future: Imagining a New Landscape for Teaching Artists.” Designed for and by teaching artists, the event is co-hosted by the Teaching Artists Guild, Arts Education Partnership, National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Education, and Hewlett Foundation. It will feature artmaking, panel discussions, roundtables, and small-group conversations designed to generate new ideas about the role of our work in pandemic recovery. Follow TAG’s Facebook page for updates on how to register.

NYC-Based Funding Centers Women’s Perspectives in the Arts


Here’s a bonus item for those based in New York City: The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, provided by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and NYC’s Office of Media and Entertainment. The grant will distribute $2.5 million to NYC-based projects that center women’s voices and perspectives in media, music, and theatre. Anyone who identifies as a woman or places women in central leadership positions is eligible to apply. Applications are due November 1. Read more about the grant and watch recorded information sessions here via NYFA.

Last Call to Attend the YOLA National Symposium


It’s not too late to register for the YOLA National Symposium, which will be held in the new Beckman YOLA Center from October 20–23. The full schedule will be posted on October 13, and registration is required by October 15. (There’s no deadline for virtual participation.) There will be over 30 community-generated and interactive sessions, workshops, and panels, as well as performances by youth groups such as the YOLA National Institute cohort. COVID safety procedures require proof of full vaccination for all attendees, and one free, on-site test on attendees’ first days. Conference registration is available via Eventbrite; hotel information is available through this reservation link.


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