Resources Available from META Fellowship Learning

Dr Bettina Love leading a session with META Fellows in 2018.
Dr Bettina Love leading a session with META Fellows in 2018.

The META Fellowship, a partnership between Mass Cultural Council and The Klarman Family Foundation, is the first program of its kind to convene a statewide community of music educators and teaching artists.

In an effort to make the learning of the Fellowship more broadly available, we are pleased to announce that the META Fellowship web site is now live. The site contains resources that were created to meet shared needs in classrooms throughout the Commonwealth and a list of professional development opportunities that Fellows utilized during the pilot program. As the second cohort of Fellows complete their Fellowship, more resources and tools will be added.

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Register for a Two-Part Trauma-Informed Practice Training

Riverside Trauma Center trainingJoin Mass Cultural Council for a two-part Trauma-Informed Practice Training with the Riverside Trauma Center.

The goal of this comprehensive two-day training is to prepare teaching artists and leaders in the cultural sector to deliver basic behavioral health disaster response skills to young people that have experienced trauma from large-scale disasters or critical events such as homicides, suicides, accidental deaths, and similarly distressing events. Participants will be presented with the evolution of efforts to assist survivors following trauma and provided with an overview of the human stress response and how it affects the choice of interventions with distressed individuals. The Post-Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM) continuum of interventions and the eight core functions of Psychological First Aid (PFA) will be taught.

The training comprises two 6.5 hour days.  Participants must commit to both days. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available.

Friday, October 18: Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress St, Boston, MA

Saturday, October 26: Community Art Center
119 Windsor St # 6, Cambridge, MA

9-9:30am: Registration, coffee etc.
9:30am-12pm: Session time
12-1pm: Lunch
1-5pm: Session

The training is free and limited to two representatives  per organization.

For more information, contact Erik Holmgren at 617-858-2731.

Register Now

The Shout Syndicate Announces Pilot Round of Grants Totaling $200,000

Teens hosting radio program at Zumix in East Boston.
Teens hosting radio program at Zumix in East Boston.

Last week the Shout Syndicate, an innovative collaboration of Boston music and arts industry professionals in partnership with The Boston Foundation and the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, announced awards totaling $200,000 in its pilot round of grants to 10 Greater Boston non-profit arts organizations that focus on creative youth development.

Congratulations to the recipients:

The pilot round of grants were made possible in part by donations from early backers Don Law/Live Nation New England, film/TV writer/producer Judd Apatow, and international recording artists The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

“Congratulations to this first group of grantees, and thank you for your dedication to enhancing creative youth development in Boston,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The Shout Syndicate has already become a central part of our arts strategy in the City of Boston. Together we’re making progress in improving access to the arts in and out of schools, and I’m grateful to everyone who helped us make it a reality.”

Each grantee will receive $20,000 to produce youth-led arts programs in disciplines including music, dance, theater, and visual/media/literary arts during the 2019-2020 school year. The grants also cover stipends for participating youth to receive hourly wages, so they don’t need to choose between an after-school job or an arts program.

“The Boston Foundation is proud to support and partner with The Shout Syndicate on this new funding opportunity,” said Paul S. Grogan, President & CEO of The Boston Foundation. “These 10 grantees are among the very best organizations in youth arts in our region. We applaud Mayor Walsh for noting the need for a new fund in this sector, and we look forward to seeing the outstanding projects that will come from these grants.”

“We at Urbano Project are thrilled to be a Shout Syndicate grantee,” said Stella Aguirre McGregor, Executive Artistic Director. “We’re proud to be part of this pilot cohort and excited to start our work.”

Teens will create their projects — including a city-wide youth publication in Boston, public art murals in Lynn, original dance choreography, a history of hip hop in Cambridge, original music recordings in East Boston and Roxbury, and original LGBTQ theater — with support from arts leaders and teaching artists. In the Spring of 2020, each grantee will share their cumulative work with the public.

Read the Full Release

Podcast: There’s the Intent and There’s the Impact

Lecolion WashingtonOn the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Lecolion Washington, CEO and Executive Director of the Community Music Center of Boston, about the barriers to seeing more diversity in symphony orchestras across America, what systemic change takes, and how to create an organizational culture that is success-based, not deficit-based.

Listen to the episode.

Read the transcript

Check out other episodes featuring Creative Youth Development leaders.

Nano-Interview with Elissa Johnson-Green of UMass Lowell

Elissa Johnson-GreenName: Elissa Johnson-Green
Organization: University of Massachusetts Lowell
Title: Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education
Genre: General music education focused on composition
Years in the Field: 20

What do you do at University of Massachusetts Lowell?
I teach future music teachers. I also have created and run a program called the EcoSonic Playground Project, which provides open access to musical instrument play for all children. We have brought this program to diverse learning communities in the US, Canada, and Ireland.

Why do you do what you do?
My whole life has revolved around music. After being a classical performer (flute and voice) for many years, I decided to shift my focus to music education. I started out as a music teacher in K-8 education. This experience taught me that children understand music as a powerful and meaningful force in their lives – one that they rely on for so many aspects of their social interactions, emotional development, artistic development, and learning. Now, as a professor who trains music educators, I teach my adult students how to approach teaching music from the perspective that music is at the core of what makes us human. I do this work because I want to influence my students to teach music as a dynamic, living art form and as an essential form of expression.

What comes easiest to you in this work?
Teaching! I am fortunate to work with amazing students who are dedicated to music education. They are talented, intelligent, and passionate about bringing music to all children.

What challenges you in this work?
All of the administrative tasks I need to do to make sure my program runs smoothly. Helping my students to navigate the scheduling system – and making sure they are on track to graduate.

What does it mean to your community that you do this work?
I take seriously my responsibility to provide high quality music educators to my community. Having more great music teachers available and working in the schools, means it’s more likely that the schools will value their music programs. My hope is to graduate students who will contribute to the growth and development of music education for all.

What music do you like listen to (if even a little too loudly)?
I listen to anything that I consider to be good music. Some of my favorites: Palestrina, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Bartok, Kendrick Lamar, Logic, Aretha Franklin, Koko Taylor, Led Zepplin, Rush, Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Alison Krauss, and anything that Yo Yo Ma has ever played.

Seen any good movies lately?
Into the Spider-Verse. I highly recommend it.

New Spending Plan Invests $1.6M in Creative Youth Development

Performers in Barrington Stage's Playwright Mentoring Project take a bow
Performers in Barrington Stage’s Playwright Mentoring Project take a bow

Mass Cultural Council recently released a spending plan for the new fiscal year that will invest more than $1.6 million in creative youth development, increasing investments in national model programs, providing grants for youth-led projects, and expanding support for teaching artists.

This year we are funding 74 programs through YouthReach and SerHacer; and will continue to support Amplify, a groundbreaking program that provides grants to young people for youth-led projects throughout the Commonwealth; the META Fellowship; and the Johnson String Project, which is dedicated to ensuring that all students in El Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts have access to high quality string instruments.

We will also be launching a new Teaching Artist Pilot Program, based on an internationally recognized professional development model created here in Massachusetts.

Creative youth development unleashes the potential of young people as creators, leaders, and architects of a better world. Creative youth development programs empower youth to explore their identities in a safe place, find their voice, and map their future.

Together our support of young people, teaching artists, and organizations empowers new voices to be heard in the cultural and civic conversations of the Commonwealth.

“When we support creative youth development, we are supporting the generation who will shape our world,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director.

What does this support look like? Here are just a couple of examples:

  • The Community Music School of Springfield has successfully engaged with the public schools to bring music and the arts to every Springfield school for the first time in a generation.
  • In Lawrence, Elevated Thought actively serves and develops communities through youth empowerment curriculum, beautification projects, youth organizing, and public outreach.
  • The Playwright Mentoring Project at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield is giving voice and opportunity to young people to tell their stories and create theater experiences.
  • GreenRoots is empowering and engaging youth voices on environmental justice issues in Chelsea.
  • At Enchanted Circle Theater in Holyoke, DCF involved youth are telling their stories through original plays and productions.

Read about the development of our Creative Youth work.

Welcome Käthe Swaback!

Käthe SwabackWe are please to announce that Käthe Swaback has joined Mass Cultural Council as a Creative Youth Development Program Officer. Käthe comes to us after more than 20 years as the Program Director of the nationally-recognized CYD organization, Raw Art Works. Her work at Mass Cultural Council will be focused on a new initiative connecting the arts and health, in addition to supporting the Creative Youth Development portfolio.

The Long Reach of YouthReach

Beyond Walls and RAW artists worked together to create portions of this mural on Boys and Girls Club of Lynn buildingRaw Art Works alum, Michael Aghahowa graduated from Montserrat College of Art and has recently created two murals in Lynn.  Beyond Walls chose Michael as one of the locally and internationally renowned artists who produced large scale pieces of public art. With the spirit of YouthReach, Michael also worked with young people to complete a mural about their pride in their neighborhood.

The young men of Raw Art Works‘ Good 2 Go Program also worked with artist, @celsoart, to complete an entire side of the Boys and Girls Club of Lynn with a beautiful mosaic mural.

Creative Youth Development

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