Wednesday, September 2, 2009

MusicianCorps Launches Service Initiative in San Francisco and Oakland

Dear Friends,
The civic value of music in America is far greater than entertainment alone. Music can help youth to develop "the imagination to create," as well as discipline, perseverance, teamwork and other critical skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century.
Music National Service (MNS) is a nonprofit enterprise that recently launched MusicianCorps, a domestic "musical Peace Corps," in four cities. MusicianCorps recruits, trains and places talented musicians in under-resourced schools, low-income communities and health care settings  for a year of "music public service." Our goal is to promote service through the arts, strengthen 21st century skills and bring diverse communities together through music.
The inaugural class of
MusicianCorps Fellows has now completed National Training Camp (thank you!) and deployed throughout the country. David and Rebecca in New Orleans (NPR piece) are introducing new music programming in public elementary schools. Meagan, a certified music therapist, is bringing music education and engagement to children, veterans and seniors at UCSF and other hospitals in San Francisco. Carla, a certified music instructor, and Aaron in Seattle, as well as Jason in Chicago and Samuel in Oakland are providing instrumental instruction, digital production and arts integration programs to neighborhood youth. (more video)

In exchange for their full-time service commitment, MusicianCorps Fellows receive a modest living stipend, professional development and health care. Please consider making a tax-deductable donation to Music National Service to help MusicianCorps Fellows –– and our growing network of musician mentors –– reach, teach and heal through music.
MNS is building a national model, not only for music-driven service, but also to pilot the expansive Artist Corps (article) idea championed by President Obama and others during the 2008 campaign. The MusicianCorps model is replicable across all arts disciplines and will expand best practices in the field of arts-driven service. The Aspen Institute named MNS "1 of 10 policy innovations that will strengthen American communities" and Congressional supporters of MNS, like NY Congressman Joe Crowley (Kennedy Center video), galvanized bipartisan leadership for a "Musician and Artists Corps" amendment in the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Americans for the Arts is now leading the charge with an Artist Corps Petition.
MNS is inspired and grateful for the leadership of our countless supporters, volunteers and partners (incl. Hewlett Fdn, Fertel Etc, AmeriCorps VISTA,  Arts Corps & Urban Gateways) who have made the dream of a "musical Peace Corps" a reality in under nine months –– but we still need your help to sustain and succeed.

Everyone can serve. Everyone deserves music. Please support music national service. Thank you.

Warm regards,
Kiff Gallagher
CEO and Founder
Music National Service

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The CalServe Network posts news and updates of interest to the service-learning field in California. News and updates are drawn from the CalServe List Serve and the National K-12 Service-Learning List Serve and various other sources.