Name: Maria Doreste Velazquez
Organization: Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs and Boston Public Schools
Years in the Field: 10+
What do you do at the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs?
During the past eight years I have been a piano, ensemble, and early childhood instructor as well as a new course developer. I have also presented several workshops and lectures at Arts Better the Lives of Everyone (ABLE) conferences as well as facilitated professional development opportunities for music educators around the state and internationally. I have also had the pleasure to be the music specialist at The Edison School in Brighton where I teach general music and coordinate the instrumental program.
Continue reading Nano-Interview with Maria Doreste Velazquez of Berklee College of Music
What would racial equity look like in Massachusetts’ cultural sector?
What can artists, cultural workers, and organizations do to help dismantle systemic racism?
How can Mass Cultural Council support the sector in achieving racial equity?
While systemic racism has been a part of this country for 400 years, recent events have fomented a growing movement for racial equity and justice. Mass Cultural Council is taking this moment in time to embark on a restart and refocus of our work as it relates to racial equity, and we want to hear from you.
This Spring we hosted a series of “Culture Chats,” to highlight the power of culture through resilience, adaptation, agility, and innovation.
These conversations offered a break from the gloom of the Coronavirus, a little bit of sunshine to remind us that the arts and culture are alive and well, if not necessarily in the theaters and venues where we’re used to finding them.
Watch our conversations with these Creative Youth Development leaders:
Continue reading Culture Chats with CYD Leaders
Congratulations to ZUMIX, Hyde Square Task Force, and Cambridge Community Center – three of 32 Creative Youth Development organizations in the US awarded by The Lewis Prize COVID-19 Community Response Fund for adapting and responding to the pressing needs of the young people they serve.
Continue reading Mass Groups Receive Lewis Prize for Music Awards
On the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Kim Dawson, Director of Advancement at ZUMIX. A venerable creative youth development organization in East Boston, ZUMIX works with a largely immigrant community to better equip its youth to be able to navigate the world once they have graduated out of their programs and high school. Dawson shares how they are expanding their opportunities for workforce development to help youth gain the skills they need to be paid well to do something they really love.
On the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Marquis Victor, Founding Executive Director of Elevated Thought. He believes that art is a form of liberation, and that young people – once they have access and exposure to art – are able to build a foundation of self, expand their minds and eyes to identify issues in their communities, and use art to surface creative solutions for those issues.
Today our governing Council voted to distribute federal CARES Act funds received by Mass Cultural Council to 74 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations statewide. Creative Youth Development programs foster creative expression while supporting core social and emotional skills, engaging young people of all ages as empowered agents in their own lives. As a practice, Creative Youth Development draws from the belief that culture plays a major role in the growth of creative, productive, and independent-minded individuals and thriving communities. After the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, these programs will be more vital than ever to the vulnerable youth and families they serve.
Continue reading Federal CARES Act Funds to Support CYD Programs Across MA
The Lewis Prize for Music has launched a $1 million COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Creative Youth Development leaders and youth music programs to support their responsive and adaptive efforts during COVID-19. This fund will distribute over 20 grants of $25,000 to $50,000 to youth-serving music programs. The application closes on May 8 with grants distributed on June 16. Visit The Lewis Prize for Music for more information.
Youth voice is essential to creative youth development. We’re asking youth leaders to speak to the power of culture as active agents in their own growth: