Curtis ArtistYear Fellowship Program Expands to Five Fellows in its Second Year
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Wells Fargo recognize Curtis's leadership in bringing arts access and education to underserved communities
Read coverage of Curtis's efforts to revitalize South Philadelphia High School in the South Philly Review.
The Curtis ArtistYear Fellowship Program grew out of a challenge issued by the Aspen Institute's Franklin Project, which has invited institutions of higher education to join in creating a system of national service that calls upon every young person between the ages of 18 and 28 to serve for one year. Curtis's ArtistYear Fellowship Program provides an annual service allowance and living stipend, medical insurance, and monthly professional development opportunities. In return, the fellows commit to full-time work serving the Philadelphia community through music, frequently collaborating with local partners such as City Year, Teach For America, and AmeriCorps.
During the 2014-15 school year, the inaugural Curtis ArtistYear Fellows engaged young people in the Philadelphia community through programs that fostered creative expression and introduced them to the power of music. Michelle Cann (Piano '13) created a program for eighth-graders at Harrity Elementary in West Philadelphia designed to strengthen confidence, encourage collaborations within the school community, and develop leadership skills, while preparing them to mentor first-graders through the shared study of piano. At St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in North Philadelphia, Wade Coufal (Bassoon '14) worked one-on-one with over 75 patients, from infants to 20-year-olds, helping them learn about and create music during their treatment. And Alexandra von der Embse (Oboe '12) empowered students at Taggart Elementary School in South Philadelphia to compose their own music, collaborating with composers and instrumentalists to develop their personal voices and critical thinking skills.
The 2014-15 ArtistYear Fellows discuss their projects and why music matters with WRTI.
One of the world's finest and most selective conservatories, the Curtis Institute of Music offers a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture to 175 students from all corners of the world. Nurtured by a celebrated faculty, its extraordinary young musicians graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. Curtis alumni personify the school's commitment to excellence--onstage and in their communities--inventing careers with impact.
Recent civic-minded graduates include violinist Adrian Anantawan, an internationally respected performer and teacher dedicated to helping young people with disabilities make music; Joseph Conyers, assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra and director and founder of Project 440, which trains young musicians to serve their communities through classical music via industry-specific mentoring and training programs; and Stanford Thompson, CEO of Play On, Philly!, the El Sistema-inspired program that provides opportunities for personal development to children through the study of music.
A busy schedule of performances, including more than 200 a year in Philadelphia and around the world, is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. Dedicated to a tradition of excellence and innovation since its founding in 1924, Curtis is looking toward its centenary in a flexible and forward-thinking way, evolving strategically to engage global communities and prepare artist-citizens for the musical landscape of today, as well as to anticipate the landscape to come.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.
Wells Fargo & Company is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 266,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune's 2014 rankings of America's largest corporations. In 2014, Wells Fargo donated $281.2 million in grants to 17,100 nonprofits, and team members volunteered 1.74 million hours around the country. Wells Fargo's vision is to satisfy all our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.
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Managing Director of External Affairs and Patron Engagement