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Teaching More, Reaching More
Anthropos Arts connects low-income youth with Austin’s best musicians for free music lessons, mentoring, workshops, and performance opportunities in some of Austin’s best-known venues.
The Teaching More, Reaching More project funded by Impact Austin’s grant will expand and deepen the impact by increasing the number of students served from 110 to 150 and by doubling the number of lessons for every student. Through this project, the students will have individual music lessons with a professional musician, attend workshops with Grammy-winning artists, and perform for audiences at places like Stubb’s, Austin Music Hall, SXSW, and more. Anthropos Art’s musician instructors provide mentoring, teach life skills, serve as inspirational role models, and assist the students in obtaining scholarships to college.
Using the funds from Impact Austin, Anthropos Arts expanded its programming by 40 percent in two years. The organization increased the number of students served from 110 to 143 (representing 17 schools), just short of its goal of 150 students. At least 58 of these students continued their lessons another year. The funds enabled Anthropos to offer year-round lessons for the first time, a level of service that they intend to continue to provide. All but one of the 14 seniors of the class of 2015 attended college on a scholarship. Every one of the 16 seniors in the class of 2016 attended college on a scholarship.
Students in the program were exposed to a number of top notch artists through workshops and had multiple opportunities to perform in public. Acclaimed Indian vocalist Nirmalya Roy, the host of Indian Idol and one of the top male vocalists in India, did a workshop at Eastside Memorial High School. Every week, master percussionist Carmelo Torres ran workshops for all of the percussion students in Afro- Latin percussion. Students
at KIPP were treated to a workshop with Fareed Haque, modern guitar virtuoso and master teacher.
Anthropos students were invited to create their own echolocation instruments and use them in a performance at the Congress Avenue bridge in conjunction with the Fusebox Festival. Finally, a portion of the funds was used to purchase in-house instruments that were too large for students to carry back and forth between school and home.
The expansion of the Anthropos Arts program provided a foundation for the organization to hire a new fundraising Executive Director, allowing the current ED to serve as Artistic Director. The division of duties between these roles allows the ED to focus on development and strategic goals while the Artistic Director focuses on programming and performance development.