I had no idea where to start my end-of-fellowship post, so I decided to be very 2014 and go with a “listicle.” The following are six menu bar options from the current CMW website, and I found that I had something to say about each one:
1. About Us
CMW, as a staff, is a group of individuals who share and collaborate even as they retain their creativity and individuality. CMW, as a student body, is much the same. The organization is deeply committed to mutual learning about and with everyone it touches. The learning we do, the performing we do, and the relationships we build are all in service of a mission that is about the agency and potential and value of each community member… or, “about us.”
I have done an immeasurable amount of hands-on learning through participating in CMW’s many programs. I’ve also had the opportunity to experience the genesis or evolution of various initiatives (a process that is at least as educational as the participation). CMW isn’t afraid to experiment, to evaluate, to pilot, and to refine, as long as it is still striving toward its core values through these multifarious efforts.
What a dense calendar it is! The Fellowship is a good way to figure out just how polished one’s time management skills really are. The CMW year is packed with educational opportunities for the kids (outdoor retreats, casual and formal performances, concert trips), performance opportunities for the faculty (in museums, gymnasiums, various underused properties), professional development (networking, teacher training, seminars), sundry tasks (staff meetings, cleaning out the quartet studio, filling out paperwork and contracts) and the occasional margarita night. Is there a stronger word for “dense?”
The CMW Flickr account is like a magical play-by-play. It amazes me due to the beautiful photographic evidence of my time here, because it is fascinating to see how far I’ve come, and because given those parameters I am still blown away by the number of events and projects that transpired without documentation (see: Calendar).
5. Get Involved
CMW has created a unique environment that can help its musicians be fully involved in its proposition. They can create multifaceted careers within the same Providence space, and know that they are surrounded by people who share their values. This amalgamation of roles (teacher, performer, administrator, connector) in one place and under one philosophical umbrella allows the professional musician to “get involved” in the work in a special way.
6. Contact Us/Home
CMW has pulled together a remarkable set of people and values, and I trust that they will be a key part of my musical and personal life for decades to come. I feel fortunate be in contact with this extended family, and it’s hard to express how lucky I am to have called this place home.
Thank you, CMW, for everything.