Anastasia & CMW’s Fellowship Program

As we prepare to welcome two new Fellows next week, I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize someone who has been very important to CMW for many years, most notably when we were attempting to find start-up funding for the pilot year of our Fellowship Program in 2006.

Rep. Anastasia Williams of Providence's District 9

As you may know, CMW was able to expand its programming in September 2006 through the addition of a Fellowship Program for young professional musicians. Previously, when it was just the Providence String Quartet, CMW could only provide programming for 65 children. Thanks to the addition of the Fellowship Program and four more resident musicians, there are now approximately 115 neighborhood children studying music at CMW every year.

What you may not know is that the first year of the Fellowship Program was partially funded by a grant of $25,000 from the Rhode Island General Assembly. This grant was sponsored by Representative Anastasia Williams.

Anastasia has continued to support our work ever since. We are very fortunate to have a State Legislator in our neighborhood who recognizes the special role that music can play in the lives of children, and who is determined that children in the West End will benefit from it. We are especially grateful that she chose to champion CMW at the General Assembly in 2006!

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff

Mayoral Forum on the Creative Economy

The Providence Mayoral Forum on the Creative Economy is set for Wednesday, September 1, 5:30-7:00 pm at University of Rhode Island's Paff Auditorium. Moderated by Mark Murphy from Providence Business News.

If you are considering attending this event, Lisa Carnevale, Executive Director of RI Citizens for the Arts, will convince you:

This year, the "Creative Capitol" elects a new leader. And in many
ways, it is much harder for a candidate to come out with a solid
platform on the creative economy than his predecessor. It's
now less about a single concrete policy initiative (an office), and
more about integrated, effective, cross-sector growth (a mindset).  In
my humble opinion, the arts and creative sector is still at the forefront of this city's growth and movement.  And this resonates to the entire state.

Please join us! Download the event flier here.

“Their first home is Community MusicWorks”

Sometime early last spring. . .I am not sure exactly when it was. . .a Paul Cuffee School parent and I were talking in the hallway as school was letting out. This is a parent whom I had known for some time, someone whose children had been at Paul Cuffee School for more than one year. I had reason to believe that they were doing well and very happy to be at Paul Cuffee School. Nonetheless, I was a little surprised, but also quite proud to hear this parent comment that Paul Cuffee had become her children’s second home. Of course I said that I was very pleased that they felt at home at Paul Cuffee School, and I went on to say I knew that their “first” home was very important to them and that their home was very supportive of their work at Paul Cuffee. “Oh,” the parent said, “Their first home is Community Music Works.”

-David Bourns, CMW Board (and recently retired from Paul Cuffee School where he served as Head of School)

CMW photo archive

In between her more exciting adventures this summer, Kirby spent a bunch of hours upstairs in the Media Lab, scanning and uploading a treasure trove of historical photographs to CMW's Flickr account.




Want to see what CMW's early days looked like? Enjoy!

Summer Camp memories

I’ll start with my favorite: On the last day of CMW's Summer Program, a number of parents came down to Wickford to see their kids perform what we’d been working on all week. After the afternoon performance, instead of going home with their parents, some students me asked if they could ride home on the bus instead, to have as much time as possible with the new friends they’d made that week.


This year's Summer Camp was based at the First Baptist Church in Wickford, and from there, after a morning of group games and intensive musical activities, we were able to go on walks to the playground, to the water, and take afternoon bus trips to the Gilbert Stuart Museum (where we all got to go in row boats in the pond behind the museum!) and Scarborough Beach. 


On Friday afternoon, we sang the CMW Round, had pieces to perform from our Orchestra, Fiddle & Chamber Music groups, and shared some of the Improvisation Games we’d been playing all week. Because of Jason’s All-Camp Choir class, our bus full of CMW students started recognizing lots of intervals and learned all the solfege hand signs to go along with them.


I can’t end this blog post without mentioning the incredible staff who were committed to making the week really fun for every student. They not only helped with straight-forward needs like tuning instruments, pouring juice, and leading the cheers, but they helped with much more subtle and challenging things like encouraging new friendships, boosting students’ musical confidence, and modeling enthusiasm for trying new things. I felt really lucky to be working with Josh, Andrew, Ian, Ali, Anne, David, Jason, and Laura. 


We solicited written feedback from the students. One of the comments that stands out because we saw it more than once: “Don’t change anything!”

-Rachel Panitch, CMW staff