November 2016

Transforming Arts Education – Center-Staging Blackness, Teaching Artists & Philanthropy

By Justin Laing & Sister I’Asia Thomas In Pittsburgh there’s a grantmaking program sponsored by The Heinz Endowments called the Transformative Arts Process (TAP) building the field of folks who work at the intersection of African American neighborhoods, arts, culture and youth. In that spirit of field building, Sister I’Asia and I write this post […]

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A conversation with IRIS Artist Fellows

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  This fall, MMI partnered with IRIS Orchestra to launch the IRIS Artist Fellowship. Focused on increasing diversity in classical music and creating a pipeline from academia to professional life, the fellowship brought three string players to Memphis in August for a one-year program. They’ll perform with IRIS, play as a stand-alone ensemble (C3 Strings) and […]

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The Day Audre Lorde Inspired Me to Reconsider the Definition of Success

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“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde Years ago while I was evaluating the success and impact of performing arts presenters in the Midwest, I observed a distinct barrier when utilizing the funder’s evaluation tools to demonstrate grantee success […]

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In the classroom: Music Engagement Teaching Fellow Chris Franceschi

During my senor year of high school, I find myself ready to graduate, with no sure plans. I knew that I wanted to attend college, but was uncertain of my career path.  The only certainty I had was my passion for music. I wanted to be a musician. However, I was continuously reminded that becoming […]

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