Fall newsletter

Currently at the printer, CMW's fall newsletter will be arriving in the mailboxes of program families and supporters by the middle of November. Don't want to wait? You may preview our newsletter here.

Report: Teaching Artists Research Project

Teaching artists—artists who make teaching a part of their professional practice as artists—are critical to the future of arts education and to improving the quality of schools. These are two of the conclusions of the Teaching Artists Research Project, a three-year study by NORC at the University of Chicago, that is the most comprehensive examination of the work and world of teaching artists.

Prior studies have provided strong evidence that arts education has powerful positive effects on student achievement and outcomes. This brand new study, led by Nick Rabkin, offers hope to schools struggling to preserve arts education programs and to policy-makers searching for effective education strategies to improve schools.

CMW is featured several times in the full report which is available to download here.

Third-Year Fellowship

With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foudation, CMW is piloting a Third-Year Fellowship position this season, giving a former CMW Fellow the opportunity to stay connected to CMW for an additional year while developing his or her own community-based project. We're very happy to be able to bring cellist Adrienne Taylor back to Providence in this capacity, and we're looking forward to seeing how plans for her own CMW-inspired initiative develop over the course of the season.

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For those who don't yet know her, Adrienne has worked to bring communities together through music education and performance as a former member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago’s MusiCorps and the Boston Public Quartet, and as a CMW Fellow ('08-'10).

Formerly assistant principal cello of Portugal’s Orquestra do Norte, Adrienne has also performed with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Eroica Ensemble, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. She attended Indiana and Northwestern Universities where her teachers included Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and János Starker.

Last year, Adrienne participated in the Abreu Fellows Program at the New England Conservatory, where she studied El Sistema, Venezuela’s world-renowned community music education philosophy. Adrienne is thrilled to return to CMW as a Third-Year Fellow, and to incorporate what she has learned from El Sistema into her work with CMW students and staff.

Welcome back, Adrienne!

Fellowship Program alumni update

Jason Amos (’08-’10) is the violist of the Boston Public Quartet ,the ensemble-in-residence of MusiConnects, an organization that connects professional musicians with elementary school students at the Chittick School in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood. As part of his role, Jason teaches viola to young students. MusiConnects is a CMW-inspired initiative, now in its fifth year.

Carole Bestvater (‘09-‘11) is happily adjusting to life as a graduate student at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. She writes “the city is gorgeous: it is full of colorful houses, friendly people and great music. (It reminds me of Providence, in fact!) The program here keeps me really busy, but I have still found time to make new friends and explore the wonders that this place has to offer.”

Laura Cetilia (’06-‘08) recently became the new executive director of the Community String Project in Bristol, RI. CSP began in 2009 with the goal of offering affordable and accessible string lessons to kids and families in the East Bay area. In addition to her work in Bristol, Laura continues teach in CMW’s Media Lab and perform with husband Mark in Mem1, an electroacoustic ensemble that combines cello and electronics.

Chloe Kline (’06-’08) is CMW’s Education Director / Resident Musician and was centrally involved in WolfBrown’s recent participatory evaluation of CMW’s youth programs. Most recently, she coached the Nelson String Quartet.

Aaron McFarlane (’09-’11) is the director of a brand new El Sistema-inspired center in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Following the success of Sistema New Brunswick's first center in Moncton, the Saint John program offers fifty at-risk children free group music education three hours/day, five days/week. Aaron is enjoying being home in Canada again, although he misses Nick's on Broadway very, very dearly.

Rachel Panitch (’07-’09) is enrolled in a graduate program in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory. She writes “I have peers from Cyprus, Iran, Australia, Bulgaria, and all around the US. We're all developing our personal performance styles by learning from each other and each other's music. And I'm having fun getting to know Boston!” Rachel is also continuing her work directing the Rhode Island Fiddle Project, which is now in its third year.

Adrienne Taylor (’08-’10) graduated from the Abreu Fellows Program at the New England Conservatory in June and is now back at CMW piloting her own El Sistema-inspired program with CMW students. Adrienne is teaching a beginner class once a week to six- and seven-year-olds. The class teaches pre-instrument skills including singing, ear training, rhythm and coordination. She is also teaching cello at the RI Philharmonic Music School in East Providence, and she is currently touring the United States with the Sphinx Virtuosi chamber orchestra.

Arlyn Valencia Thobaben (’07-’09) is in her final year of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Florida. She writes “I'm happy to report that I've completed the majority of didactic work and am now working in the field on my clinical internships! I've completed my orthopedics rotation, am now in my geriatrics rotation at a skilled nursing facility, and will finish up the year in acute care and pediatrics. I have enjoyed sharing my musical side with all of my peers, teachers, and patients of all ages. Additionally, my experience at CMW helped me jump in headfirst to fill a leadership role in a fledgling student-run project called the Equal Access Clinic, a community pro bono clinic.”

Learn more about our two-year Fellowship Program here.

-Minna Choi, Fellowship Program Director

Where’s Sebastian?

If you are looking for your teacher/violist/mentor/artistic director/supervisor/husband this week, he is currently in Michigan, participating in the inaugral session of The Chief Exectutive Program.

A project of National Arts Strategies with support from the Mellon, Kresge, and Fidelity Foundations, The Chief Executive Program is a "two-year initiative designed to unleash the collective power of 100 of the top executive leaders in the cultural sector to solve these intractable problems. These leaders will re-imagine what cultural institutions will be and how they can contribute to civil society." Read about the other 99 leaders here.

He'll be back on Friday.