Seminars are in full swing. Site visits to incredible young people’s music programs have been plentiful, inspiring, question-inducing.

And I have encountered many muses. Their inspiration must be shared. The following are photographs from:

  • El Sistema at the Conservatory Lab Charter School, (run by Rebecca Levi and David Malek, Abreu Fellows ’09-’10), where we spent a one-week residency developing as strong El Sistema educators from Rebecca, David, and Lorrie Heagy (Abreu Fellow ’09-10 and founder of Juneau Alaska Music Matters);
  • Corona Youth Music Project, (run by Alvaro F. Rodas, Abreu Fellow ’09-’10), which we visited and taught at during our New York City residency, and which I taught at briefly earlier this year while I was teaching and administrating at Chinatown Youth Initiatives and CITYterm, both in New York;
  • Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s first and only public high school for the visual and performing arts, run by Linda Nathan, the school’s founding headmaster and a renowned author, educator, and administrator. Two fun facts: Linda Nathan visited El Sistema in Venezuela with a team of NEC administrators and was involved in the formation process of the Abreu Fellows Program. And, she sends BAA students to CITYterm (where I used to teach) is a CITYterm parent! The Abreu Fellows have been coaching BAA seniors in their Senior Grant Projects, in which they design and propose projects that apply their artistic media toward impacting social change in their communities.

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The Abreu Fellows have been exploring central themes that have emerged in our studying of El Sistema so far in the U.S.: fun, intensity, excellence, performance, and community-building. You may see these principles emerge through images, so I offer you a small sampling to start.

After one more full week of programming (including presenting on El Sistema at a workshop at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership through the Kennedy School), the 10 Fellows will be headed toward separate locales for self-designed intensive learning expeditions. Some might call this an internship. Others might call it an Abreu Fellows MEGA-TOUR.

Abreu Fellows '11 - '12 @ New England Conservatory

Call it what you will, but do know that we’ll be taking the following places by storm: Juneau, AK; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; New Orleans, LA; Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Camden, NJ; New York, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Philadelphia, PA; Providence, RI; Cincinnati, OH; Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; and, last but not least, Costa Rica and Scotland!

We’ll return with new insights, new questions, new projects, and new ideas. Bon voyage, Fellows!