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Curtis Institute Launching ArtistYear This Fall

The Curtis Institute of Music is launching a new program this fall that encourages young people to engage in national service.


The Curtis Institute is partnering with the Aspen Institute's Franklin Project to launch ArtistYear, "an arts-based service corps that brings arts access and education to underserved communities." Curtis will pilot the ArtistYear Fellowship Program in Philadelphia during the 2014-15 school year as part of the Franklin Project's initiative to create one million service positions by 2023. The initiative seeks to create a system of national service that sees every young person, between the ages of 18 and 28, serving their communities with full-time service work for one year.

Gen. (ret.) Stanley McChrystal, chair of the Franklin Project's Leadership Council, spoke about the role of artists in national service: "Engaging young artists in this experience is essential--for the students and the gifts they will share bringing the arts to underserved communities." For the pilot program in Philadelphia, three recent Curtis graduates - Michelle Cann (Piano '13), Wade Coufal (Bassoon '14), and Alexandra von der Embse (Oboe '12) - will design programmatic project concentrations for the 2014-15 school year. They will work with community partners such as City Year, Teach for America, and AmeriCorps to educate young people and other community members on the power of music.

The ArtistYear Fellowship Program offers its fellows an annual service allowance and living stipend, medical insuarance, and monthly professional development opportunities. The fellows commit to a year of full-time service work, improving their communities through music. Curtis President Roberto Diaz is excited about this new opportunity to not only see students invest in the community, but also as a way to cultivate future music participants and advocates: "...the ArtistYear Fellows are keenly aware of the importance of building new audiences for classical music and of advocating for the art form. They recognize that the experience of giving back to the community can encourage their growth as an artist."