Welcome to the fifth and final installment of MMI’s Emergency Relief Fund Artist Interview series!

Today, MMI Works student intern Maya and Relief Fund recipient Aliyah chat about Aliyah’s musical work—an aria titled “opera nera: il retrogrado (Black Opera: The Retrograde).” The piece utilizes expressionistic techniques to highlight her experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aliyah’s piece was commissioned through MMI’s 2020 Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund last May. Take a few moments to learn what inspired the work, how she’s managing to find space for creativity during the pandemic, and what she’s working on next.

About the Emergency Relief Fund:

Back in April, MMI established the Fund to provide some short-term, immediate relief for the individual musicians, young people, and grassroots organizations who are part of our network of programs. In total, the Fund granted $98,450 to 11 organizations, 43 individual musicians, and 18 youth to replace lost income and support ongoing youth engagement during the pandemic.

Youth applicants were able to request a technology grant, or up to $300 for the creation of new artwork pieces created in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

In reviewing the submissions, we were humbled by these students’ thoughtfulness and creativity in responding to an unprecedented crisis. We know you will be, too.