News to start your week!

The arts community as a whole has much to be concerned about with the new administration.  The writers and musicians at NewMusicBox have decided to start the conversation about concerns, and what can be done about them, with their new series titled “Speak Out.”  (More explanation on the idea and intention here.)  The first two posts in the series are excellent – Meg Wolhite has an excellent piece on why now is the time to create, composer Kristin Kuster discusses how we move beyond worry, and composer Mohammad Fairouz writes about the role of composer has changed.

It’s impossible to escape news from the enormously successful and powerful Women’s March on Washington, with sister events held around the world. A video of a flash mob, acapella performance, of what is now being called an unofficial anthem for the march is now making the rounds, and is worth a view (or three).  The song, “I Can’t Keep Quiet”, was written by LA-based singer MILCK who coordinated online rehearsals with fellow marchers.  NPR has the story, and listen to a recording below:

President Trump has announced a plan to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities to save the money, even though the combined programs make up a whopping .02% of the total budget.  The Washington Post has the story.  There is a petition hosted through the We The People platform at, a carry over from the Obama Administration, to preserve these endowments.  You can sign here. Under the Obama Administration any petition that received 100,000 signatures in 30 days would receive an official White House Response.   We have yet to see if the same protocol will apply under the new regime.

The first all-female Afghan orchestra is in the news for having performed in Davos, Switzerland in front of world leaders.  We wrote about Negin Khpolwak when knowledge of her work as a conductor first began to spread – and now Zarifa Adiba is joining her on the podium.  The international attention to this ensemble is well deserved, and I hope will continue!  Learn more, and watch video through Reuters.

What did we miss?  What are you reading?  Leave a link and comment below!