Communities: Nashville, Salem, Huntingburg, Paoli
Launched: 7 virtual sessions
Engaged: 150 + participants
Involved: 8 JSoM students, 5 JSoM faculty
The Community Engagement Summit brought together over 150 virtual participants for 7 online sessions delving into community engagement best practices and the landscape of modern musicianship. The Summit featured keynote speeches from the following individuals:
- Melissa Ngan, Executive Director of the Fifth House Ensemble
- Afa Dworkin, President and Artistic Director of The Sphinx Organization
- Stanford Thompson, Founder and Executive Director of Play On Philly
The Summit additionally included an interactive workshop on Asset Based Community Development and Strategic Doing, led by the IU Center for Rural Engagement’s Jane Rogan. The weekend brought together rural community members from Nashville, Salem, Huntingburg and Paoli along with Jacobs School of Music students and faculty in a shared Slack workspace. Attendees were able to have in-depth conversations in Slack and continue asking questions to the keynote speakers after their sessions completed.
FRIDAY: November 13
- 2:00pm Welcome and Keynote I
Alain Barker, Director of Entrepreneurship and Career Development (JSoM)
Ed Comentale, Associate Vice Provost for Arts and Humanities, Director of IU Bloomington Arts and Humanities Council.
Melissa Ngan: Cultivating Creative Communities
For the last 15 years, Fifth House Ensemble has placed the collaborative spirit at the center of its mission and work, which spans adventurous cross-media performances, arts-integrated educational programs in schools and social service settings, civic practice projects with non-arts-focused community partners, and emerging artist training. Drawing on stories from the ensemble’s early days to the present, Founder and Executive Director Melissa Ngan shares the ensemble’s path of listening, learning, and co-creation.
3:10-3:30 – Questions
Announcement of Funding Opportunities and JSoM-CRE Showcase
Hear about funding opportunities for projects, research, collaborations, and more! This session will introduce the timeline and scope of the Jacobs School of Music’s Community Engagement Initiative. Projects discussed during this hour will showcase the range of possibilities available to Jacobs School faculty, students, and student organizations.
Deep Listening Jam with the Fifth House Ensemble
**Come as you are – there is no wrong way to participate in a Deep Listening Jam, and no previous musical experience is required. Fifth House Ensemble caps off Day 1 with a Friday Night Deep Listening Jam! Pioneered by composer Pauline Oliveros after an inspiring trip to a cistern with a 40-second reverb near Seattle, Deep Listening is a music, mindfulness, and community building practice that is equal parts contemplative, whimsical, and oftentimes hilarious. Make new friends and play new sounds through some of our favorite text scores and musical games, composed by Oliveros and members of Fifth House.
Session led by Melissa Ngan, Executive Director | Sixto Franco, Viola | Elizandro Garcia-Montoya, Clarinet | Parker Nelson, French Horn | Herine Coetzee Koschak, Cello | Grace Hong, Oboe
More Information about the path-breaking Fifth House Ensemble here..
SATURDAY: November 14
- 10:30am Keynote II
- Afa Dworkin: Breaking the Sound Barrier/Redefining Artistic ExcellenceA recipient of Kennedy Center’s Human Spirit Award, as well as one of Musical America’s Top 30 Influencers in the nation, Afa Dworkin serves as President and Artistic Director of the Sphinx Organization, the nation’s leading organization transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Her national and international leadership has helped shape the national conversation on diversity and inclusion in the arts.
11:15 – Questions
- 1:00-3:00pm Workshop
ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development) and Strategic Doing
Led by Jane Rogan, Director of the Sustaining Hoosier Communities initiative at the Center for Rural Engagement
Click here to sign up for the Session!
ABCD considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development. Building on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations, and the supportive functions of local institutions, asset-based community development draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future.
Strategic Doing enables leaders to design and guide new networks that generate innovative solutions. It is a new strategy discipline that is lean, agile and fast—just what organizations, communities and regions need to survive and thrive. Jane Rogan, leader of the Sustaining Hoosier Communities rural initiative, is ready to offer her insight on how these unique approaches can transform the relationship between musicians, audiences, and communities.
- 4:00pm Keynote III
Stanford Thompson: The Community’s Practice Room
Founder and Executive Director of Play On Philly and Founding Board Chairman of El Sistema USA, Stanford Thompson brings music education to students in under-served areas throughout Philadelphia and beyond. In this role, Stanford has secured over $13 million in funding which has impacted the lives of hundreds of children in Philadelphia. Recognized as a TED Fellow, Stanford believes that music education is a powerful tool for positive personal and community change.
4:40pm – Questions
SUNDAY: November 15
Student Org Brainstorming Session
A special session for Project Jumpstart and Jacobs School Student Organizations
Melissa Ngan is a flutist, advocate, and cultural change leader who believes in the essential role of the arts in developing mindfulness, empathy, shared understanding, and authentic human connections.
As Fifth House Ensemble’s founding Executive Director, Melissa drives the organization’s creative and training partnerships. She has led long-term projects with educational institutions nationwide that redefine the training process for emerging artists, as well as initiatives with The Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Opera that have resulted in bold new directions in arts integration and civic practice.
A dynamic educator and coach, Melissa currently teaches a music entrepreneurship course at DePaul University, and has presented at the Eastman School of Music, the Colburn School, New England Conservatory, Chamber Music America, College Music Society, and Opera America. Her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post.
Melissa’s performance activities have spanned South America, Europe, Russia and Japan, including positions with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and Peninsula Music Festival. Previous award credits include First Prize at the National Flute Association’s Orchestral Audition Competition. Melissa is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, with principal teachers including Bonita Boyd and Walfrid Kujala. Melissa is not only a well-known flutist and educator – she also makes a mean spread of Brazilian food and a mouth-watering chocolate pecan bourbon pie.
A recipient of Kennedy Center’s Human Spirit Award, as well as one of Musical America’s Top 30 Influencers in the nation and Detroit Crain’s 40 Under 40, Afa Sadykhly Dworkin is a musical thought leader and cross-sector strategist driving national programming that promotes diversity in classical music. She currently serves as President and Artistic Director of the Sphinx Organization, the nation’s leading organization transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. In this role, she oversees all fundraising, strategic and artistic initiatives through which Sphinx expands access to classical music education and supports a national roster of distinguished musicians of color, while annually reaching 10,000 through its programming and more than 2 million through live and broadcast audiences. During her tenure, Ms. Dworkin has expanded the organization’s international partner network to 50+ foundations and leading enterprises, resulting in the organization’s most successful fundraising campaign in its twenty-three year history. Under her leadership, her team’s national artistic network has also grown to 60+ symphony orchestras, enabling Sphinx to continue scaling its programming to new audiences worldwide. The strength of Ms. Dworkin’s leadership across sectors and national divides is informed by her musical training, 25+ years of experience in the field, as well as her international corporate experience as a trilingual interpreter and Executive Assistant to the President of ARCO, The International Oil and Gas Company in Baku, Azerbaijan.
In addition to her role at Sphinx, Ms. Dworkin has helped to shape the national classical music landscape as a multi-year orchestra grant review panelist for the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, 3Arts Awards, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the MetLife Awards. Beyond the orchestral community, she has aided grant review for the Surdna Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Charlotte Arts and Sciences Council, Independent Sector’s American Express NGen Awards, and numerous state councils across the United States.
Ms. Dworkin has delivered ongoing thought leadership through an extensive roster of speaking engagements including those at the International Arts & Ideas Festival, Independent Sector, Grantmakers in the Arts, Young Audiences Norway, Esmeraldas Festival in Ecuador, Chamber Music America, National Association for Schools of Music, League of American Orchestras, ICSOM, and Association of Canadian Orchestras. Former faculty at Clarkston Conservatory in Michigan, she serves as a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance and as adjunct faculty at Roosevelt University’s Master’s in Arts Administration program, with past lectures at Bowling Green State University, Penn State and Central Michigan University. Ms. Dworkin also builds capacity for the midwestern arts community as a trustee for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Creative Many Michigan and CultureSource.
Born in Moscow and raised in Azerbaijan, Ms. Dworkin’s music training began with the Soviet training at the prestigious Azerbaijan National Conservatory where she honed her craft under the tutelage of the region’s leading artists. She subsequently joined the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra as an entering freshman at the University of Michigan School of Music, also earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Violin Performance with High Honors. Her career as a performer has taken her to Russia, Switzerland, Austria, and the United States. An avid chef, Ms. Dworkin makes her home in Ann Arbor, MI, with her husband Aaron Dworkin (an internationally renowned leader in cultural entrepreneurship) in their home, Alegria (“Joy”) in Ann Arbor, MI. Her youngest son Amani attends the A2STEAM school, plays piano and soccer on the Liverpool junior league and step-son Noah attends the Ross Business School at the University of Michigan.
Born and raised in a musical family, I began playing trumpet at the age of 8 and studied with members of the Georgia State University faculty and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. After implementing several successful entrepreneurial ventures as a child, I grew more interested in combining my musical talents and interests in business to build various social projects. In 2010, I founded the El-Sistema-inspired program Play On Philly where I currently serve as Executive Director and have secured over $13 million in funding which has impacted the lives of hundreds of children in Philadelphia.
Inspiring audiences to appreciate the power of music and orchestras is one of my greatest passions. I regularly speak to the communities of TED, League of American Orchestras, and El Sistema-inspired initiatives around the world. I believe orchestras offer us lessons in leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion.
Giving back to organizations with music at the core of their mission is important to me. I currently serve on the boards of the American Composers Forum, Marian Anderson Award and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Previously, I was a board member for the Curtis Institute of Music, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and El Sistema USA.
As a trained, professional trumpeter, I’ve performed with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C and recorded on the Ondine label with Christoph Eschenbach. I also appeared as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ocean City Pops Orchestra and the North Springs Philharmonic. I lead residencies with Philos Brass in Pennsylvania and Georgia where we performed recitals and outreach presentations, presented master classes, and conducted clinics. In the jazz idiom, I have performed for the Berks Jazz Festival, on the Washington College Concert Series and presented for the opening gala of the Philadelphia Orchestra with the Rittenhouse Jazz Quintet.
I’m a native of Atlanta, GA and hold degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory’s Sistema Fellows Program.