About this project
“Música en tus Manos” (Music in Your Hands), an innovative outreach initiative to bring chamber music to the Latino community. Our focus is on the more than 200,000+ Latinos in Philadelphia – around 13% of the total population – who are underserved by the city’s cultural organizations. “Música en tus Manos” is designed to fill this need in a unique, sustainable way. Together with Spanish speakers of all ages from the Latino community, we will explore musical masterpieces and use chamber music as a platform from which to offer a unique and engaging musical education. “Música en tus Manos” will offer a chance for the community to interact with musicians and discover and expand their own musical talents.By putting music in their hands, each person will find his/her own musical voice.
We were honored to win the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia 2013 for “Música en tus Manos." The grant is for $25,000 over two years, but it is a matching grant and we need to match the entire amount in order to receive the funds and fully realize the tremendous potential of our project. This is why we need your help. If we do not match the Knight Arts Challenge grant, we will not receive any of the funds.
In “Música en tus Manos," we will present an intensive and engaging array of events throughout the season, working closely with three partner organizations in the Latino community. We will perform great chamber music, from Bach to Beethoven, Debussy to Prokofiev, with an emphasis on the wonderful contributions of Spanish and Latin American composers - Arriaga, Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Brazilian music, Paquito D’Rivera, and celebrated guest composer Tania León.
Our Partners in the Latino Community
Our partners are Iglesia Evangélica Bautista in north Philadelphia, Casa Monarca in South Philadelphia, and the Pan-American Academy charter school in Kensington. All together we will reach Latinos from over fifteen countries, ranging in age from toddlers to seniors.
The Events - DSE will present the following “Música en tus Manos” over the next two seasons
• 4 chamber music concerts in Latino community centers
• 4 post-concert conversations in Spanish and English: artists and community members talk about the music.
• 3 open mics: community members can perform informally, and sing or play side-by-side with Dolce Suono Ensemble.
• 2 instrument “petting zoos”: children and adults try instruments guided by DSE artists. Yamaha Corporation of America provides instruments.
• 6 coachings for the music program at Pan-American Academy where music teacher Celina Vélez is starting a music program. We will help build a recorder ensemble, the first time her K-8 students are playing music.
• Side-by-side concert with students from Pan-American Academy at DSE Presents, May 31, 2014
This October, we were the only classical music ensemble invited to perform at the Hispanic Choice Awards in Philadelphia. Our performance of Telemann and Piazzolla dazzled the audience of 1,200 people at this red-carpet, televised event, a great opporunity to spread the word about "Música en tus Manos."
The Power of Chamber Music
We are excited to share with the Latino community the great benefits of listening to and playing classical music: coming into contact with some of the most beautiful creations of humankind; learning life skills such as teamwork, leadership, discipline, and careful listening; and scientifically proven improvements in cognition and academic performance. Our short-term goals are to deepen the Latino community’s understanding of and appreciation for chamber music in diverse styles, with an emphasis on Spanish and Latin American composers; to empower them through active participation in making and discussing music. Long-term goals include creating life-long concertgoers and active music-makers, providing a means of self-expression, and fostering a sense of togetherness among the generations.
What Your Contribution Will Do
We ask for your generous support in making this vision a reality. Your funds will be put to worthy and financially responsible use:
- Providing artists' fees
- Renting and tuning pianos and other instruments needed
- Producing and printing materials such as programs and outlines for participants to take home
- Making archival recordings of some events so that they can be experienced again
For us, the members of Dolce Suono Ensemble, it is deeply rewarding to share our love for chamber music with others; we feel fortunate to play some of the world's greatest musical creations and to communicate them to listeners. Indeed, music is a form of communication without words, yet it is one of the most powerful forms of communication on earth.
Since its founding by flutist and Artistic Director Mimi Stillman in 2005, Dolce Suono Ensemble (DSE) has dazzled audiences with its dynamic music-making and high-protein, original programming. Deemed an "adventurous ensemble" in The New York Times, our performances and recordings have received rave reviews on four continents. DSE is comprised of a core group of artists in winds, strings, piano, guitar, and percussion, many of whom have been performing together since their student days at the Curtis Institute of Music. DSE musicians are distinguished in their own right as soloists, chamber musicians, members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and faculty members at Curtis, Temple University, and other premier musical institutions.
To watch videos from our “Música en tus Manos” launch concert at Iglesia Evangélica Bautista, please visit Dolce Suono Ensemble on YouTube.
Risks and challenges
“Música en tus Manos” presents challenges in that it is our most ambitious outreach initiative to date because of its scope - many events with three partner organizations and people of all ages. We are trying to raise $12,000 with this campaign, adding to the nearly $13,000 we have already raised, to reach the $25,000 matching goal and receive the Knight Arts Challenge award. Only with your help will we be able to fully implement the comprehensive series of events we have planned over the next two years.
The good news is we are building on a track record for doing outreach effectively since our very beginning in 2005. Our partnership model, in which we returned to Philadelphia public schools multiple times during each season and year after year, taught us how to build lasting relationships with the community. Measuring the impact of an outreach project in the arts can also present challenges, but there are ways to evaluate our impact. When children and adults start studying an instrument after we introduced them to chamber music, when people we played for through outreach events become regular concertgoers, when our partner organizations present us with ideas for collaboration - we know that the seeds we planted of love for music have taken root. This project is ambitious but we are convinced that our experience has prepared us to make a beneficial and lasting contribution through “Música en tus Manos."Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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