Adrienne in Venezuela

Former CMW fellow Adrienne Taylor ('08-'10) spent time in Venezuela this past spring as a member of the Abreu Fellows program at the New England Conservatory. Her trip to Venezuela was to experience firsthand the incredible 35-year-old program know as El Sistema that you are likely already familiar with if you have been following this blog or if you are passionate about arts education.

The other students are surprisingly patient while they wait for their turn to play. The sections that are asked to play alone are not timid at all while the others listen. Everyone plays with a strong, confident tone. Once all of the students have successfully played their parts for the conductor, they join together at the end of the rehearsal to play the piece as a group. They are playing well, but the conductor doesn't let them be satisfied with their work. Now, she says, you have to fight. Between now and Saturday's concert you have to fight to play this the best that you can. This requires practice. Practice is very important. She points to the teaching assistants in the room and says, when they were your age, they were already playing El Danzon. They were playing El Danzon without mistakes. What would happen if we went to play in another city, or in another school, or in a hotel somewhere and we played with mistakes? What would people think? We have to fight to play our best.

Read more of Adrienne's account of her experience in her own words. Enjoy!

CMW receives State Arts Council support

(Providence, RI – July 17, 2011) Thousands of artists will be employed in the coming year in projects supported by grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, according to an announcement released by the State Arts Council today about its first round of grant awards for the 11-12 season. These grants, funded through an appropriation from the Rhode Island General Assembly and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, support projects by individual artists, arts organizations, schools and educational organizations in communities throughout the state.

The State Arts Council awarded a total of $780,250 to 125 non-profit organizations, schools and individuals for art and arts programming across Rhode Island in this latest round of grants. In announcing the awards, Council director Randall Rosenbaum underscored the impact of these grants on the Rhode Island economy. “Our grantees tell us that over 20,000 artists will be employed with support from these grants, and that over 1.58 million Rhode Islanders and visitors to our state will benefit from these projects. These preliminary figures are significant, and demonstrate a great return on a very tiny investment from state and federal resources.”
The grant awards break down as follows: $40,000 to 19 individual artists, $125,000 to 54 non-profit organizations for programming, $52,500 to 16 schools and non-profit organizations for arts education programs, and $514,000 to 19 major arts and cultural organizations. For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the Arts Council’s website at

Staff summer plans

A sampling of staff adventures planned for this summer…

Carole will be driving 2,351 miles to her home of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She will then be traveling 450 miles to teach at a Suzuki Camp in Brandon, Manitoba. After that, she will travel 1132 miles to the other side of the continent to play chamber music with her friends. At the end of the summer, she will cross the country one more time and head to St. John's, Newfoundland. And hence begins her next adventure: grad school at Memorial University.

Sara will be spending her summer in Portland, Oregon and Bozeman, Montana. Projects include teaching her daughter to ride a two-wheeler, reuniting with family, and learning the Bach Chaconne.

Laura will begin her new job as Executive Director of the Community String Project in Bristol, RI. Contact her if you'd like to be involved in this flourishing program! ( She'll also be teaching at CMW Summer Camp and will be leading a CMW Media Lab summer session with Jori. A trip to Los Angeles will also be made to visit family and friends (and to eat some fish tacos.

Ariana is kicking off the summer with a 24-hour relay from Symphony Hall to Tanglewood, then visiting Portland for a week, and then spending the bulk of the summer – 6 weeks – teaching at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, where she will split her time between lessons, chamber music coaching, and trying to spend as much time outside in the Berkshires as possible.

Jesse shared the following: "This summer, I will be working a lot on my house in anticipation of a very special guest in the Fall. I will also be visiting  that special guest and her family in Ireland in July. I plan to do a lot of swimming at the Y, reading some good books, visiting family and friends, and of course, hanging out with the cats. Musically, I'll be practicing for some concerts in the fall, teaching up at Apple Hill, and listening to a lot of vinyl. Have a great summer everyone!"

Rachel will be working with Laura, along with CMW alums and volunteers, to run this year's CMW Summer Camp in Wickford in July. She'll also be preparing to start a graduate program in New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation department in the fall and playing fiddle at former fellow Arlyn Valencia's wedding!

Heath will be staying home for the most part, swimming as often as possible, preparing for the new CMW season, learning the intracies of iMovie, and spending plenty of middle-of-the-night quality time with recently arrived Anika.

Enjoy your summer!