Episode 16: Youth Finding a Voice, Finding a Stage

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Through Barrington Stage Company’s creative youth development program, Playwright Mentoring Project, theatre is used as a catalyst to help under-served youth learn skills to aid them in developing positive self-images. Artistic Director Julie Boyd speaks to the cathartic nature of this work and to how their programs in education and theatre-making interweave.

Julianne BoydJulianne Boyd co-founded the Barrington Stage Company (BSC) in January 1995. She has directed many productions at BSC, including the world premieres of Mark St. Germain’s Dancing Lessons, Dr. Ruth, All the Way, and Best of Enemies. She also directed the critically acclaimed productions of An Enemy of the People, Much Ado About Nothing, The Crucible, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Streetcar Named Desire, West Side Story, Follies, The Game, Mack and Mabel, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Importance of Being Earnest. In 1997 she directed BSC’s smash hit production of Cabaret, which won six Boston Theatre Critics Awards and transferred to the Hasty Pudding Theatre in Cambridge for an extended run.
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Episode 15: Playing the Long Game for Public Art

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Since 1978, a formal ordinance in the City of Cambridge has required by law that they include artists in the thinking and practice of designing and building the city. Jason Weeks, Executive Director of the Cambridge Arts Council, details how their public art program has grown to become a nationally-recognized model, and a steward for 285 unique art works, the largest collection of contemporary public art in New England.

Jason WeeksJason Weeks is the Executive Director of the Cambridge Arts Council, a city department and public non-profit agency in Cambridge, MA. Weeks works with an Advisory Board, Trustees of the non-profit corporation, the Cambridge Public Art Commission, elected officials, city administration and agency staff to oversee an award-winning Public Art/Percent-for-Art program, the Cambridge Arts Grant Program, Street Performer Program, annual events including Cambridge River Festival, Summer in the City, Cambridge Open Studios, and other community based initiatives.
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Episode 14: A Musical Instrument Lending Library

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The Johnson String Project is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in underserved communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts. Carol Johnson, Founder and President, talks about the creation of their musical instrument lending library and the public/private partnership behind it.

Carol JohnsonCarol Johnson is a co-founder of Johnson String Instrument. Founded in Newton, MA in 1976, JSI’s core belief is that everyone is equal and deserves access to quality instruments. This philosophy is why teachers have been turning to Johnson for support for almost 40 years. When she began to ask how she could further serve her community in Massachusetts, she found her answer in the creation of The Johnson String Project.
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Episode 13: Universal Design – Embracing the Diversity of Human Ability

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Universal design is an approach toward design which embraces the diversity of human ability. It’s a foundation upon which arts & culture organizations can build their facilities, perform their concerts, and design their exhibitions. Josh Safdie, a principal at Kessler McGuinness and Associates discusses design of environments, buildings, objects, and systems that work for people of all ages, abilities, and cultures.

Josh SafdieJosh Safdie, AIA is a Principal at Kessler McGuinness & Associates, where he directs accessibility planning and Universal Design projects in higher education, multi-family housing, health care, and historic preservation. Prior to joining KMA, Safdie was director of the studio at the Institute for Human Centered Design. He has received awards from the Boston Society of Architects, Massachusetts Architectural Access Board, and Boston Preservation Alliance for projects merging preservation
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Episode 12: Creating Pathways for the Contemporary Performing Artist

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Performing arts education pioneers Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory are merging, creating a comprehensive training ground for music, dance, theater, and related professions. Richard Ortner, president of The Boston Conservatory, and Roger Brown, president of Berklee College of Music, discuss what it means to create an institutional platform for collaboration, to get students to the next level of career preparedness, and to employ music as a tool for social change.

Roger Brown (left) & Richard Ortner (right)Roger H. Brown is Berklee’s third president in the institution’s history. Under his leadership, the college has expanded scholarship support by 400 percent; created an international campus in Valencia, Spain; built its first ground-up custom facility boasting 173 residence hall rooms, a state-of-the-art recording complex, and a dining hall/performance venue; and established a suite of institutes including the Berklee Global Jazz Institute under the direction of jazz pianist Danilo Pérez. The college has expanded its global reach to attract students from 105 countries, markedly improved gender diversity, dramatically increased admissions selectivity, and created the world’s largest online music education system. During his tenure, the City Music Program, which offers educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged young musicians, has expanded outside of Boston, now serving more than 29,000 young middle school and high school-aged young people. Brown has also been a leader in humanitarian initiatives in Africa and Southeast Asia. He is an avid drummer.

Born in Great Neck, NY, Richard Ortner has shared his lifelong passion for music and advanced training in the performing arts with the most renowned senior professionals of our age, the best and brightest young artists and students, and the widest possible audiences.
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