Earlier this week, we received the exciting news that we were the recipient of a $10,000 NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grant. It’s an exciting and humbling experience and one we couldn’t wait to share with our YOSA supporters.
Only 153 organizations in the entire COUNTRY were recipients this time around, so it’s an especially good piece of news. The focus of this type of grant is to support small to mid-sized organizations in projects which “extend the reach of the arts to populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.”
This grant will support our 2013 Artist-in-Residence Program, which will feature several new components.
Electric violinist Tracy Silverman and composer Kenji Bunch will be featured in the Texas premier of a new concerto for electric violin and orchestra in November — an unparalleled opportunity for the YOSA Philharmonic. While in San Antonio, the pair will also work with underserved students in YOSA MÁS,(Music After School), a program in conjunction with the Good Samaritan Community Services in San Antonio’s near west side. Similarly, YOSA is establishing school partnerships for Silverman and Bunch to lead workshops for the 440 string students in the Roosevelt Compact of the NEISD and at Judson High School. The residency will culminate in a concert at the Majestic Theatre.
“To say that we are excited and grateful for this grant would be an understatement,” says Steven Payne, Executive Director of YOSA. “The NEA’s support of our program will create new opportunities for hundreds of student musicians in San Antonio, many of whom would never have an opportunity to meet and work with musicians of the caliber of Tracy Silverman and Kenji Bunch. For YOSA, to be part of the Orchestra Engagement Lab, which integrates community engagement into the process of commissioning new music is equally as exciting.”
Stay tuned for confirmed dates and details on the project early next year.