Community Conversations is a speaker series seeking to engage others in dialogue about important issues in arts education. This year, we have an incredible lineup of scholars and artists who each offer unique perspectives on community building, diversity, equity, and inclusion, health and science, and the future of arts education. All conversations will take place in a hybrid format, allowing our broader national community to join us for these events.
Composing Community w/inti figgis-vizueta
Thursday, October 19, 2023 – 6 pm
NY-based composer inti figgis-vizueta (b.1993) braids a childhood of overlapping immigrant communities and Black-founded Freedom schools—in Chocolate City (DC)—with direct Andean & Irish heritage and a deep connection to the land. “Her music feels sprouted between structures, liberated from certainty and wrought from a language we’d do well to learn” writes The Washington Post. inti’s work explores the transformative power of group improvisation and play, working to reconcile historical aesthetics and experimental practices with trans & Indigenous futures.
In this conversation, inti will speak to the history and community organizing practices that inform her unique approach to composing music. In sharing stories and experiences working closely with musicians ranging from community music groups in D.C. and Boston to internationally-touring ensembles like the Kronos Quartet and Roomful of Teeth she will illustrate the responsibility and necessity in building diverse communities and fostering new liberatory forms of musicmaking.
A Joint Community Conversation and Kleshinski Concert with violist, Chris Jenkins and colleagues
Thursday, February 15, 6 pm
Chris Jenkins, Associate Dean for Academic Support at Oberlin Conservatory, is an educator, administrator, and performing violist. At Oberlin, he is a Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Conservatory Liaison to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, as well as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology.
His international engagement has included performances and teaching in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Israel, China, Colombia, and South Africa, including a performance with the Jordan National Symphony at the World Heritage Site of Petra in 2016. In the summer of 2017, he served as a guest artist and teacher at the Afghan National Institute of Music in Kabul, Afghanistan. He is currently earning a DMA in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a PhD in Historical Musicology from Case Western Reserve, where his work focuses on the music of African-American composers. His alma maters include Harvard University, New England Conservatory, and the Manhattan School of Music.
Jenkins will present on his new book Assimilation v. Integration in Music Education in a community conversation, followed by a Kleshinski concert with Chris Jenkins, viola, Dianna White-Gould, piano, and Anastasia “Ana” Rainbow, soprano.
A Community Conversation with Tasha Golden, PhD
Thursday, April 25, 6 pm
Tasha Golden, PhD is a captivating force at the crossroads of well-being, art, and transformational change. An international expert fusing art and scientific insight, Golden offers a combo of warmth, storytelling, and unique insights that audiences find truly compelling.
As Director of Research at the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University and a renowned expert in arts and health, Dr. Golden studies the profound influence of the arts on human well-being. Holding a PhD in Public Health, she bridges science and art to create compelling and impactful narratives.
Formerly the singer-songwriter for critically acclaimed band Ellery, Golden’s music has graced stages across the globe and found homes in films and TV. But a bout of major depression drove Golden from her music career—a devastating blow that led her to start over: asking provocative questions that led to her PhD, and to studies of creativity, health, and how we build a better world.
Golden’s story of transformation resonates with audiences, and serves as a powerful touchpoint for talks on mental health, creativity, self-development, and social change.
A Community Conversation with Lecolion Washington and CMCB Faculty
Thursday, June 6, 6 pm
This year, in collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and national experts, we rolled out our student pathways, a new educational model that allows our students to have more agency in their musical goals at CMCB. Faculty support has been imperative to implementing this new model. But it is also imperative that we support our faculty as they support students in one of the many possible musical outcomes they’ve chosen for themselves.
This panel discussion with faculty, led by Executive Director, Lecolion Washington will reflect on how our students and faculty have grown together throughout the introduction and implementation of our new educational framework.