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Community Engagement and Career Development

The Curtis curriculum offers many opportunities for students to use their world-class artistry to engage their communities.

Today’s musicians must develop the ability to conceive and realize projects rooted in their art and must understand how to engage audiences of all kinds, deeply and fully.

Social Entrepreneur, the Community Artist Program (CAP), and ArtistYear are components of a new sequential curriculum launched in 2014 to equip students with these essential skills. Meanwhile Curtis continues to offer performance opportunities like the Greenfield Residencies and Family Concert Series to bring their art to Philadelphians.



Social Entrepreneur

Curtis’s new one-semester course, Social Entrepreneur, teaches students to create and sustain social value through community-based service opportunities. In addition to work on projects conceived by faculty, participants also:

  •  attend the Careers in Music Speaker Series,
  •  build their online portfolios, and
  •  can apply for small grants to continue their projects after their coursework concludes.


Community Artists Program (CAP)

  • CAP seeks to empower the next generation of leaders in classical music. CAP participants design and implement unique performance projects combining artistry with invention, leadership with advocacy, and citizenship with community.  In collaboration with partner organizations, CAP offers additional training in

  •  teaching artistry,
  •  interactive performance, and
  •  entrepreneurship.

Curtis faculty and alumni encourage and mentor CAP students throughout the year-long process, providing advice and helping students make connections within the community.



This artist-citizen service year was launched in 2014 by Curtis in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project. ArtistYear brings arts access and education to underserved communities through a year of paid service. The Franklin Project and Curtis’s ArtistYear fellows are collaborating with local Philadelphia community partners to create an impact- and metric-driven pilot program that other arts organizations can replicate.


Mary Javian, director of community engagement and career development services, (215) 717-3149