A 501(c)3 for-purpose organization, Cellists for Change is dedicated to creating positive change in the world by empowering young people through music. We nurture creativity, celebrate diversity, and foster inclusivity in music education and the arts through representation, equity in access, and meaningful community engagement.
Cellists for Change is committed to performing works from the rich canon of repertoire written by diverse composers traditionally underrepresented in the classical sphere, as well as commissioning new works that celebrate the voices and creativity of BIPOC, female, and LGBTQIA+ artists. We had the privilege of working closely with Kari Clifton (Denver-based BIPOC cellist and composer) and Sergio Marroquin (Guatemalan composer) to premiere two new works for cello ensemble over the past two years. This year, we are honored to have commissioned a new piece from QPoC composer Lee Knight (they/them pronouns) and Jamaican-born poet André O. Hoilette that expresses their Black lived experiences in our local communities. The work challenges the nation to evaluate its dissociation between proclaiming Black Lives Matter and its actions and characterizations that clearly endanger and devalue Black lives. Keep an eye out for this new interdisciplinary piece, anticipated to premiere Summer 2021!
CfC also nurtures a much-treasured friendship with Escuela de Cuerdas, a school of music in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. This relationship has allowed for valuable musical and cultural exchange between students here and students in Huehue, reaffirming our shared humanity and inspiring young musicians to make a positive impact on their global community. Cellists for Change has been able to fund four educational programs in villages throughout the Western Highlands of Guatemala that combine the sharing of music with the delivery of much needed food and other essential items.
Additional CfC projects/opportunities to date include:
- Music by Black Composers repertoire class (Summer 2020)
- Improvisation workshop with BIPOC cellist Kari Clifton (Summer 2020)
- Play For The Vote (Mike Block initiative to encourage election participation) community engagement performance, covered by ABC Denver News (Nov 2020)
- Zoom Concert Series for Open Heartland Learning Nest, a nonprofit serving the seven most economically disadvantaged mobile home communities in Johnson County, IA (Fall, 2020)
- Full and partial Cello Lesson Scholarship opportunities for racial and ethnic minority students PK-12 in collaboration with CfC Founder and Executive Director Psyche Dunkhase (ongoing)
Cellists for Change aspires to ensure all young people have access to learning, creating, and performing experiences that reflect their culture and identity. If you have a child or know of a child who would be empowered by the mission and vision of Cellists for Change, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be the first to know what CfC is up to by following us on FaceBook (CellistsforChange) and Instagram (@cellistsforchange)!
www.cellistsforchange.org (website under construction, expected to go live in April, 2021)