Welcome to our 10th Season!
A Letter from the Executive Director
musiConnects has reached a major milestone! It is with much anticipation and excitement that we kick off our 10th season. It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since founder, Betsy Hinkle, sought to fill the need for high quality music performance and education in Boston’s most underserved neighborhoods. Since 2007, musiConnects has grown from providing quality music instruction to 9 students at the Chittick Elementary School, to serving over 100 children, most of whom receive weekly one-on-one instruction and small-group Chamber Music classes free of charge with instruments provided by musiConnects.
As the organization has evolved, so too has its mission. Apart from the goal of providing children with access to musical education, musiConnects programming also embraced its social justice component. Eight Resident Musicians embedded initially in Boston Public Schools, now in local community centers and in our Roslindale Community Program begun in 2011, not only teach music proficiency, but also focus on helping students develop their confidence, self-expression and communication skills. The musiConnects model teaches skills uniquely developed by playing music with others. Our Resident Musicians are also dedicated to their role as mentors. Long-term mentoring relationships are forged and have been lifelines for many students.
Equally important, at the core of musiConnects' work is the belief that quality live performances are a right for all and not just a privilege for a few. A hallmark of musiConnects' approach is that the Resident Musicians are the members of its professional string quartets, who, in addition to their teaching, perform free of charge in students' neighborhoods, thereby modeling the relationship of artists to community. The Boston Public and Sumner Quartets give free public concerts in libraries, churches, community centers, and outdoor venues. Look for our pop-up performances as part of the “musiConnects Errands Tour” in Mattapan this year when going about daily tasks!
This year brings many exciting changes! Beginning this season, our Resident Musicians will now be embedded at the Lena Park CDC in Dorchester and the Mildred Avenue Community Center in Mattapan. These partnerships will allow musiConnects to teach students beyond the attendees of the Chittick and Sumner elementary schools, retaining more than 50% of continuing students, while still being situated in the neighborhoods with the greatest need. The community center collaborations offer more sustainability and continuity by providing for participation past 5th grade. Finally, the centers specialize in social and academic support for students during after-school hours, and provide a healthy place for students to be in transition from the school day to musiConnects programming.
Finally, before we jump into our 10th season, I want to thank all of you who have been with us since the beginning or have joined us along the way. With your support, Betsy’s dream of social change through the transformative power of chamber music is ever growing.