The World Ensemble
Dear Subscriber,

This October Resource Basket offers a bit of everything: virtual seminars and summits, studies to aid your arts advocacy, moments of joy, and new ways to support marginalized groups. Each is critical in its own way, especially now. Please take the extra minute to click through them and feel the renewed sense of shared purpose they offer. And join that OdeToJoy project—we need a hefty dose of joy. Finally, remember that you are essential workers, and that these news and resource items exist to make that work easier. 

For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 resources, please visit the World Ensemble website.

Thanks for reading,
The WE Team
WAAE Hosts Virtual Seminars on Arts Assessment and Youth Leadership 
Youth leadership is top of mind in Sistema-inspired programs across the world. On October 27 at 2 p.m. EDT (18:00 UTC), the World Alliance for Arts Education and Creative Generation will host the inaugural Young & Emerging Leaders Forum to provide a space for young scholars, emerging leaders, and new arts educators to share work, network, and develop a community of learning. Join your colleagues in music education and other areas of arts education in finding ways to expand opportunities and broaden the leadership pipeline in the global field of arts and cultural education. New research into leadership theory, training and development, and intergenerational partnership with youth will be explored by speakers in South Africa, United Arab Emirates, the U.K., and the U.S. Facilitated discussions will follow. Check out the program and register here.  
You can also join an international virtual seminar to examine how to assess the arts and how assessment standards are changing and evolving, leading our field toward a new reality of arts assessment and program evaluation. The seminar will be on October 26 at 9 a.m. EDT (13:00 UTC); it is hosted by the World Alliance for Arts Education and its partners—the University of Florida, the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, and Creative Generation. Registration is free, and an archive of the event will be distributed to all who register by November 1. Register for the virtual seminar here.   
Support for LGBTIQ+ Students in Asia 
If your program in Asia has students (or young faculty) who have challenges with emerging LGBTIQ+ identity, you might pass this resource on to them to help them find community. Youth Voices Count is a regional network of young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex individuals in the Asia-Pacific. Through Ignite! Empowerment Grants, Youth Voices Count supports LGBTIQ+ youth-led initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. Grants focus on the following themes of youth empowerment advocacy for LGBTIQ+ populations: 1) inclusive and youth-friendly health services and mental and physical health and well-being; 2) creating inclusive educational spaces; 3) comprehensive sexuality education; 4) digital rights, online safety and security, and open technology; and 5) promoting human rights through culture, arts, and sports. Grants of up to $2,000 are provided. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the Youth Voices Count Facebook page for information or contact Youth Voices Count at
Posthumous Peace Prize for José Antonio Abreu 
The Isang Yun Peace Foundation has honored conductor, economist, and global humanitarian José Antonio Abreu, who founded El Sistema in Venezuela and led it until his death in 2018, with the 2020 Isang Yun Prize. The Isang Yun Peace Foundation honors the legacy of Korean composer Isang Yun (1917-1995), whose lifelong cause was peace and reconciliation. The prize money, which will be administered by UNESCO, will be used to support El Sistema projects. Learn more about the honor in this article in The Korea Herald. As put by Sir Simon Rattle in his nomination letter: “El Sistema has become so famous worldwide that it is easy to forget that it started from almost nothing, 13 players in an underground car park, the wild dream of a man who had the idea that music could be a unifier, a route into a better society. That it spread to half a million young people in Venezuela and that it has inspired countless imitations makes it even more of a miracle. And all from one extraordinary man, a rare mixture of deep humility and astonishing stubbornness. Only this kind of person could have made such a garden grow through the cracks in concrete.” Please take a minute to read Sir Rattle’s beautiful letter in its entirety here.
Linda and the Mockingbirds Premieres on Video on Demand
On October 20, Shout! Studios and PCH Films digitally released a new documentary on the great Linda Ronstadt, titled Linda and the Mockingbirds. Touching on Ronstadt’s Mexican heritage, the subject of immigration, and the power of the arts to effect change, the film is a companion to the 2019 Ronstadt documentary The Sound of My Voice, which details her relationship with Los Cenzontles Arts Academy. From Shout!: “Linda and the Mockingbirds chronicles a road trip with Ronstadt, musician Jackson Browne, and a tour bus full of young Mexican-American musicians to a performance in the small town of Banámichi in the Mexican state of Sonora, where Ronstadt’s grandfather was born.” Not only is Ronstadt a GRAMMY®, American Music Association, American Latino Media Arts, and Emmy Award winner—she has also been a patron of Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy for 26 years and remains a strong advocate for the arts as a vehicle for social change. Learn more about the documentary in this article by Los Cenzontles’ founder, and view Linda and the Mockingbirds on VOD.
Prize to Support New Anti-Poverty Ideas
Might this award be a fit for your El Sistema program? The D-Prize supports new entrepreneurs who can distribute proven poverty interventions. The Prize supports ventures that scale distribution of an already proven poverty intervention in the developing world. Winners will receive up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in any region where extreme poverty exists. Up to 20 of the most promising proposals will be selected for funding awards, regardless of which challenge track was selected. Aspiring entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply; D-Prize is open to any business model (for-profit, nonprofit, and everything in between). The submission deadline is November 8, 2020. Visit the D-Prize website to download the application packet as well as information on the individual challenges.
It's All About Joy at #GlobalOdeToJoy
The just-announced Global Ode to Joy Project invites El Sistema programs around the world to join many other partners in the celebration. Please post short videos that radiate joy (under two minutes, and even much shorter ones are fine too) on your YouTube channel with the hashtag #GlobalOdeToJoy. Your post can be a video you have already created, or an edited part of one, or something new. Your students can also post their own creations. The videos do not need to refer to Beethoven; the connection is the joy he expressed in his famous musical ode. In this dark time, a global explosion of joy lifts us all. This is a chance to give your favorite, most delightful videos a wider audience. The best videos will be featured in a special commemorative video underscored by Beethoven’s iconic score. El Sistema USA is an Official Partner of the Global Ode to Joy Project.
Post any time before December 1, but earlier posts will get more visibility. All posts related to this project must use this hashtag: #GlobalOdeToJoy. Use these additional hashtags as appropriate: #BTHVN2020, #ChooseJoy, #GiveJoy, #ShareJoy, #SpreadJoy. Find out more at and follow along on the official @globalodetojoy social media channels.
UNESCO Provides Outline for Worldwide Education Reform 
UNESCO has published a study titled “Education in a Post-Covid World: Nine Ideas for Public Action.” The website also invites you to participate in a survey, join debates, offer your own perspective, and consider new lab ideas. Their “Nine Ideas” seek to provide an outline for worldwide education reform. Creative Generation is providing a survey to gather responses to share back with UNESCO—if you would like to contribute your thoughts to this global initiative, fill this survey out here.
Ilumina's Equal Music Initiative Seeks Mentors Across the World
As part of their Equal Music Initiative, Ilumina is looking for professional musicians and very advanced student volunteers to connect with deserving talents ages 10–26 around the world. They are looking to support projects everywhere, not just in Brazil—including programs in Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Sweden, Austria, Portugal, the U.K., Turkey, South Africa, and the U.S. The pandemic has made it harder for many students to receive private lessons, and Ilumina offers a variety of ways to volunteer: weekly or one-time lessons, short-term lesson series, or pre-recorded instructional videos that can be shared with many students. Please read, share, and consider filling out this form with more information.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about the great work Ilumina is doing, visit this article by its founder from June’s World Ensemble.
Edinburgh International Culture Summit 
Every two years in August, Edinburgh, Scotland welcomes delegations from over 40 countries to its biennial Edinburgh International Culture Summit, taking place during the Edinburgh Festivals and hosted by the British Council, Scottish Parliament, and the Scottish and U.K. governments. This year, of course, the Summit was forced to go digital—but was no less impactful for it. Welcoming dozens of speakers and performers to participate in this Special Edition, the Summit was themed “The Transformational Power of Culture.” Best of all, two prominent El Sistema programs were given the platform to demonstrate the power of music for social change: YOLA in Los Angeles and Sistema Scotland / Big Noise Raploch. Students from both organizations performed “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” from Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and leaders from each program spoke as well. In this video, Sistema Scotland CEO Nicola Killean, Big Noise Raploch alumna Symone Hutchison, and Los Angeles Philharmonic Vice President of Learning Elsje Kibler-Vermaas discuss “Culture in Vibrant Communities.” Elsje and Nicola participated in several conversations and webinars; enjoy their many contributions, and the rest of this worthwhile event, on the Summit’s YouTube page.

The World Ensemble Team
Tricia Tunstall

Patrick Scafidi

Dr. Ryan Welsh

Tricia Tunstall
Eric Booth

Dr. Chrissie D’Alexander
Elsje Kibler-Vermaas
Jacquie McNulty
Rey Ramirez
Monique Van Willingh

Caroline Campos
Zoe Kumagai
Gabrielle Molina

Thank you for reading! 

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