On April 21, 2009, President Obama signed the “Serve America Act” which calls for a national “Artist Corps” to bring artists as public servants into low-income and under-served communities and schools. After this pilot year, it will hopefully become a bill, defining a Musician and Artist Corps as follows:
“A musician and artist corps program that trains and deploys skilled musicians and artist to promote greater community unity through work in low income communities, education, health care, and therapeutic settings, and other work in the public domain with citizens of all ages.”
Music National Service (MNS) is a new national social enterprise dedicated to supporting and expanding the use of music to achieve important civic and social goals. This year, MNS is launching Musician Corps, which is the prototype for the full Musician and Artist Corps.
Four cities were selected to participate in this endeavor: San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, and Seattle! There was a nation-wide search for applicants in some cities but Arts Corps, already a nationally recognized arts education program, was tapped to lead the citywide effort here in Seattle.
Each of the select cities has their own team of MusicianCorps Fellows. The four Seattle teaching fellows are:
Aaron Walker-Loud – drummer and Director of Big World Breaks & One Family Inc. Aaron will be working with Seattle Public Schools engaging low income youth and youth of color in district music programs.
Eduardo Mendoca – musician, composer and winner of “Outstanding Brazilian Male Singer based in the U.S.” by the Brazilian International Press. Eduardo will be working with Seattle Center engaging youth from nearby parks and recreation sites to participate in community music festivals and utilize the resources of the Seattle Center campus.
Carla Moreno – musician, world music explorer, writer, and DJ. Carla will be working with the Low Income Housing Institute creating vibrant communities in housing projects with immigrant families through music rich afterschool programs and intergenerational and cross-cultural music exchanges and performances.
Amos Miller– keyboardist and hip-hop and R&B producer. Amos will be working at the Youngstown Cultural Art Center helping teens in the All Access After School program start their own youth-run record label and radio program.
We’ve just returned from an intensive training in San Francisco and are already working vigorously at our sites building community relationships and music programs throughout the Greater Seattle area!
I’ll be posting more blogs soon. For more information and to meet the other MusicianCorps Fellows in the other cities, please visit:
in the meantime check out our video…
and my own video
Distinctive Features Specialist