Nov. 09, 2021
Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, is a three-year pilot program that provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines in the greater Northwest Arkansas area.
Lia Uribe, associate chair and associate professor of bassoon, was selected to receive one of the $15,000 Community Activator grants. She plans to use the award to support the first RefleXions Tertulia/gathering in 2022.
Uribe presented this proposal on behalf of the RefleXions Music Series team and as a partnership with Rogelio Garcia-Contreras (Arkansas Global Change Makers) and Leigh Wood (KUAF 91.3). This event will be featuring regional, national and international citizen-artists presenting their music and its intersection with advocacy for creative justice.
the RefleXions Tertulia/gathering will also feature concerts, including a recontextualization of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons highlighting Latinx musicians; a panel and a podcast episode, as part of the RefleXions Social Impact through the Arts conversation series; masterclasses in songwriting, classical repertoire, jazz improvisation, composition, art entrepreneurship and innovation; and open spaces and times for dancing, singing, jamming, community celebration, healing and togetherness.
RefleXions Music Series is a celebration of music, musicians, advocates and audiences, a space to foster creative justice and diversity through opportunities to reflect, learn, grow, change and teach. RefleXions Music Series propagates sound and messages; expresses the highest standards of music and artistic interpretation; reverses the dynamics of Eurocentric standards; carefully considers contexts, intersectionality, relationships and crossroads with other disciplines; and celebrates, represents and includes diverse identities. It is a collective of Northwest Arkansas individuals from different backgrounds who bring unique perspectives and commitment to the highest standards of scholarship, research and aesthetic diversity in the arts.
The RefleXions team is also formed by Department of Music professors Helen Becque, Ronda Mains, Catalina Ortega and Eric Troiano, and Erika Almenara from the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
Nikola Radan, instructor in jazz studies and music industry and technology was awarded a Project Grant of $7,500 for his All Over the Map multimedia project showcasing Ozark ballads as part of global migration through centuries and cultures.
His research examines Medieval music stories that traveled all over the world, following the trade routes from Europe to Cape Verde in Africa, India, Vietnam, China, Korea, the Ozarks and beyond. This project explores the circulation of these ballads, whose roots we do not know for certain, and highlights the fascinating ways in which cultures incorporate stories and lyrics. He designed it to bring people together in a world that is often divided; the project encourages people to look beyond their own communities to celebrate shared traditions.
The ballads have the same stories; the lyrics in the songs follow the same storytelling, but there are various twists between cultures. The final experience is shaped by the sounds of various world traditional instruments and music practices.
In the spring and the summer of 2022, he is planning to have a series of events that are designed to both showcase music with the ensemble Blue Thread and invite audiences to make their own connections and contributions to what is presented. He is also reaching out to the Latino, Vietnamese, Marshall Island and South Asian populations in Northwest Arkansas, sharing the main themes of the ballads and inquiring as to whether versions of these ballads are living among these communities.
All the events will be filmed based on the interactions that take place, music and stories from these groups for a documentary movie that will be released by the end of 2022.