Curtis to launch a new outreach program

Posted: June 04, 2014

Three recent graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music will become inaugural fellows of ArtistYear, a pilot program designed to bring a year-long AmeriCorps-like community service opportunity to the world of the arts in Philadelphia.

The program, launched as part of the Aspen Institute's Franklin Project, which aims to create one million service-year positions by 2023, will kick off in the 2014-15 academic year.

Former U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, chair of the Franklin Project's Leadership Council, said the project aims to make community service a standard practice for all young Americans. The Curtis initiative, he said, will prove "essential - for the students and the gifts they will share bringing the arts to underserved communities."

Pianist Michelle Cann, who graduated from Curtis in 2013, bassoonist Wade Coufal, who will graduate this year, and oboeist Alexandra von der Embse, a 2012 graduate, will be the first ArtistYear Fellows.

During their fellowship year, they will collaborate with local community partners such as City Year, Teach for America, and AmeriCorps to engage young people and others in the Philadelphia community in creative expression and the power of music.

The program is still in its early phases and the exact shapes of the fellowship year are still unformed.

"The ArtistYear Fellowship Program provides an important new opportunity to develop extraordinarily talented young musicians who are also deeply engaged in their community," Curtis president Roberto Díaz said in a statement. "The ArtistYear Fellows are keenly aware of the importance of building new audiences for classical music and of advocating for the art form. They recognize that the experience of giving back to the community can encourage their growth as artists."

The ArtistYear Fellowship program will be announced at the Franklin Project's service "summit" in Gettysburg, Wednesday through Friday.



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