THE RESPONSIBLE MUSICIAN IN THE 21ST CENTURY
The human community faces relentless challenges to ensuring basic conditions for a life well lived, as defined by the person. Despite significant advances in medicine, science, and technology, recurrent and new threats to the peaceful pursuit of individual and collective goals are causing the fragmentation of nations, and displacement of people in numbers not witnessed since WWII. Belligerent nationalism and xenophobia are threatening the moral fabric of the EU and the US, wealth disparities are increasing, and prospects for a dignified life feel imperiled. Humanism itself seems under attack.
As they enter the public sphere, young professional musicians are seeking skills and opportunities to assist people who are less fortunate. Some emerge from the conservatory feeling insufficiently prepared to navigate the diminishing opportunities in traditional work and the increasing social needs in their communities.
Being a musician is a privilege and a responsibility. In many parts of the world, musicians take certain freedoms for granted. Freedom of assembly is necessary to rehearse with colleagues and perform for the public. Freedom of expression is assumed, and the right to participate in the cultural life of the community is unquestioned. Yet so many people are denied these fundamental rights, and other rights as well. Every musician, in her own way, should be involved in improving the possibilities and realities of their fellow human beings.
Human rights are a lens through which musicians can explore
— Why they make music
— How they can become more tolerant of differing opinions in their own lives
— What they can bring uniquely to the performance and teaching of repertoire
— How they might help improve society while pursuing their artistic goals.
We pursue our mission by
— Performing works, including new commissions, that shed light on human rights principles, historical events, and aspirations
— Inviting human rights experts to teach student and professional musicians about the principles, practices, and challenges of human rights
— Contributing funds raised at concerts to human rights organizations
— Training musicians in the skills required to lead music-centered workshops for refugees, asylum seeks, and other vulnerable populations
— Presenting free concerts and workshops to people at the margins of society
— Advising musicians on grant writing and networking opportunities.