Chorus America Conference Covers Cultural Inclusion

Apr 8, 2012


Chorus America
June 13 - 16, 2012
Minneapolis, MN

They say that "many hands make light work,” and who doesn’t need a hand these days? Chorus America's Conference will go a step further and give participants the smartest and most useful tools out there so that, in fact, many hands make bright work. Among the conference's many offerings, this year's conference includes sessions relevant to addressing contemporary social issues such as bullying, engaging senior citizens, cultural inclusiveness, and access and accommodation for all.

Engaging the Future for Choruses: Five Lenses for Exploring Inclusiveness and Cultural Competence
As the world becomes more diverse, cultural competency is increasingly understood as a strategic imperative to the success and survival of organizations, including choruses. To address the rich potential and complex challenge of cultural competence, this session will: Introduce you to the “five lenses” approach to cultural competence; Explore how issues of cultural competence can manifest in your own organizations through the use of a case study; Identify your own preferred lens(s) on cultural competence, including each lens’s strengths and limitations; and Examine how the five lenses can assist you to begin moving your organization toward greater cultural competence.
Presenter: Jim Bonilla, Associate Professor of Conflict Studies, Hamline University School of Business

Confronting Bullying through Music
For over a decade One Voice Mixed Chorus (Minnesota’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allies chorus) has collaborated with public schools across Minnesota to provide in-school concerts. Their “OUT in our Schools” program addresses issues of diversity and homophobia, and confronts bullying through shared rehearsals with students, collaborative concerts, training, and classroom discussion. Join Artistic Director Jane Ramseyer Miller as she shares the keys to this program’s success and identifies ways that school and community choruses can collaborate to share programming, outreach, and resources. Speakers: Jane Ramseyer Miller

¡Cantaré! Increasing Cultural Awareness through Choral Music
This presentation examines the impact of a unique community engagement program called ¡Cantaré!, which places Mexican composers in Minnesota classrooms to serve as composers-in-residence. Since 2008, the Minnesota-based chorus VocalEssence has connected eight different Mexican composers with more than 20 school, college and community choruses. Urban, suburban and rural communities have participated. The composers work directly with the singers and write new choral works specifically for each group. In this session, you will learn how to implement this kind of program with your own choir.  Specifics will include: Developing a Community Cultural Advisory Committee; Recruiting schools for a new initiative; Selecting composers; Temporary work visas—how this can be done without paying a lawyer thousands of dollars; and Challenges in working with immigrant communities. Speakers / Performers: Jorge Cózatl; Ana Luisa Fajer Flores; Kimberly Meisten;and Mary Ann Pulk

Seniors and Singing: Two Initiatives that Make a Difference
MacPhail Music Center is known for community partnerships including MacPhail Music for Life™, which celebrates creative aging and lifelong learning at eight senior living residences throughout the Twin Cities.  The choir component of this program is especially popular and, by all indications, is making a real difference in the lives of older people.  The largest choral program for older adults in the U.S. is Encore, with eleven choirs in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.  Through partnerships with likeminded groups such as New Horizons Band, The Dance Exchange and Stagebridge Theatre, Encore’s reach is both broad and deep.  Attend this session to learn the key elements of these impressive programs, and the important attributes of the high-quality teaching artists that guide these two leading initiatives. Speakers / Performers: Paul Babcock, Jeanie Brindley-Barnett, Jeanne Kelly

Today’s Audience: Getting in on the Act
Arts participation is being redefined as people increasingly choose to engage with art in new, more active and expressive ways. This trend carries profound implications and fresh opportunities for choruses exploring how to adapt to demographic and technological changes. Getting In On the Act: How Arts Groups are Creating Opportunities for Active Participation, a new study commissioned by The James Irvine Foundation and conducted by WolfBrown, draws insights from more than 100 nonprofit arts groups and other experts in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. The report presents a new model for understanding levels of arts engagement as well as case studies of participatory arts in practice. It also addresses many of the concerns that choruses may have and provides inspiration and ideas for exploring this growing trend.
Speakers / Performers: Alan Brown

Audience = Participants: The Arts’ Search for Relevance and How Choruses Can Help
With arts researchers, funders, and institutions alike beginning to reconsider the role of the audience in the arts, where does choral singing—arguably the most common “participatory” arts activity—fit in? How can choruses translate their success in engaging a broad cross-section of the population in the arts into more formal recognition for their demonstrated community relevance?  What are the respective roles of amateur, professional, semi-pro, and youth choruses in this conversation? And what does all of this mean for the age-old question of who gets to call themselves an artist?  Speakers / Performers: Alan Brown; Sunil Iyengar; Ian David Moss

Join the Dance! Engaging People with Disabilities in Your Programs
Last year, the Minnesota Chorale’s acclaimed Bridges community-engagement program focused on working with artists with disabilities. Instead of engaging people with disabilities solely as consumers of art, the Chorale sought to bring these individuals into the performance process, fostering their own creativity. The result, a series of performances that combined choral music and dance, was profoundly moving, and has inspired the Chorale to serve as an advocate for such work. In addition to the Chorale’s artistic and executive directors, representatives from the lead organizations in the program—Dance Exchange, VSA Minnesota, and Young Dance—will discuss how the partnership worked, and how your organization can benefit from going beyond ADA requirements. Speakers / Performers: Bob Peskin, Kathy Saltzman Romey, Elizabeth Johnson, Craig Dunn, Gretchen Picka

Tags: access, accommodation, ADA, advocate, American Disabilities Act, amateur choruses, artist, artists with disabilities, arts engagement, arts groups, arts participation, arts researchers, audience, bisexual, bullying, choir, choral music, choral singing, Chorus America, choruses, classroom, collaborative concerts, college, community choruses, community engagement, community partnerships, composers, composers-in-residence, conference, creativity, Cultural Advisory Committee, cultural awareness, cultural competence, cultural competency, cultural inclusiveness, dance, demographic, disabilities, diverse, diversity, funders, GLBT, gay, homophobiain-school concerts, immigrant communities, inclusive, LGBT, lesbian, Mexican, music, nonprofit, older adults, outreach, participatory arts, people with disabilities, performance, population, professional choruses, programming, public schools, rehearsals, rural, school, semi-pro choruses, senior citizens, singers, Singing, social issues, suburban, theater, theatre, training, transgender, urban, youth choruses

Sub Categories

DIVERSITY: National Conferences
DIVERSITY: Diversity and the Arts
DIVERSITY: Disabled Community
DIVERSITY: Latino / Hispanic
DIVERSITY: Generations
DIVERSITY: Education
DIVERSITY: Audience Development
DIVERSITY: Opportunities


diversity   education