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October 14, 2021

Manhattan School of Music Announces The 2021–22 Roster of ARTIST SCHOLARS: An Influential Group of Artists, Activists, Educators, and Arts Leaders

The 2021–22 Class of Artist Scholars will communicate their experiences and insights relating to racial equity, representation, and inclusion, sparking ongoing dialogue with the MSM Community in multiple forums.

Manhattan School of Music’s 2021–22 roster of Artist Scholars is an accomplished and influential group of artists, activists, educators, and arts leaders.

They include General Director and CEO of Houston Grand Opera Khori Dastoor, 2017 TED Global Fellow and Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact at the Kennedy Center Marc Bamuthi Joseph (“Bamuthi”), and Taiwanese-American composer Justine F. Chen.

The School’s 2021–22 class of Artist Scholars will join MSM in a variety of forums, including panels, seminars, discussion groups, special performances, musical collaborations, and mentorship.

The history of the MSM Artist Scholar program

The program, part of the School’s Cultural Inclusion Initiative and spearheaded by MSM Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice President for Special Initiatives Alexa Smith, offers MSM students, faculty, and staff members opportunities to engage with the Artist Scholars in a range of topics related to their experiences, expertise, and insights around artistry, creativity, and careers.

The Artist Scholars provide MSM’s community with space to explore and address questions of racial equity, representation, and inclusion within the performing arts and society.

The School’s 2021–22 class of Artist Scholars will join MSM in a variety of forums, including panels, seminars, discussion groups, special performances, musical collaborations, and mentorship.

“As we move into year two of this important program, our Artist Scholars continue to reflect MSM’s strong belief in consistent dialogue and shared experience as an essential element in healing, coming together, and learning to value our differences,” says MSM President James Gandre, “all while moving forward with strength, vitality, and excellence.”

Meet Phil Chan, MSM’s Artist Citizen in Residence

Leading the way this year will be activist, author, and educator Phil Chan, who will act as the School’s Artist Citizen in Residence. In addition to co-founding the influential Final Bow for Yellowface and its commitment to leading the effort to eliminate outdated and offensive stereotypes of Asians on ballet and other performing arts stages, Mr. Chan has served as the Director of Programming for IVY, connecting young professionals with leading American museums and performing arts institutions.

Mr. Chan’s contributions will give MSM students space and time to explore the impact and importance of issues that are central to his efforts to rid performance stages of racial stereotypes. During MSM’s 2021–22 academic year, he will be hosting four workshops and participating in a Community Reads book club event that focuses on his book, Final Bow for Yellowface: Dancing between Intention and Impact.

The full roster of 2021–22 MSM Artist Scholars includes:

  • Justine Chen: composer, violinist, educator
  • Khori Dastoor: General Director and CEO of Houston Grand Opera (beginning in January 2022)
  • Ras Dia: multi-disciplinary arts programmer with a focus on youth engagement
  • Hannah L. Drake: blogger, activist, public speaker, poet, author of 11 books
  • Brothers Aldo López-Gavilán (pianist and composer) and Ilmar Gavilán (violinist)
  • Marc Bamuthi Joseph (“Bamuthi”): 2017 TED Global Fellow and Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact at the Kennedy Center
  • Lucia Lucas: baritone, activist
  • Britton Smith: actor, President of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition
  • Ed Yim: Chief Content Officer and Senior Vice President, WQXR, New York’s Classical Music Radio Station

Among the many new initiatives and events that will stem from this year’s Artist Scholars program at MSM will be several public and classroom discussions, forums, and performances as well as a workshop of Seven Sisters, a chamber opera composed by 2021–22 Artist Scholar Justine Chen.