Sunday, October 9, 2011

Abreu Fellows Take New York By Storm

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Drummers in Tompkin's Square in the East Village

I am writing in a community garden in the East Village, peering up through trees and plants at the blue sky above. Ten red and white balloons are floating up above behind one of the buildings; someone below must have just released them. It is quiet and unseasonably warm for an October day, and the city feels magical and at peace. My day included a yoga class at Finding Sukha with Abreu Fellows Julie Davis and Stephanie Hsu, brunch, a long walk through Soho, an eyewitness account of the Wall Street protests, a visit to Apexart to see Fred Hersch's Private Stash exhibit, and a relaxing late afternoon in a hammock in the garden of an East Village apartment.

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Wall Street Protests

The last two days have been a whirlwind of activity, and oddly synchronistic.

  • Crittenton Women's Union Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Chuck Carter taught us about inclusive leadership (which social lenses we look through in approaching our work as inclusive leaders; knowing who's in the room and how we can help them support the organization and mission)

  • World Business Forum with Tamara Erickson, Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, and Patrick Lencioni on inclusive leadership and generational lenses through which people see the world and their work

  • Influencer “Change” conference at Saatchi & Saatchi, where Aisha, José-Luis, and I spoke about the El Sistema movement in the U.S, and where the other fellows got to meet many inspiring change-makers


    Abreu Fellows speak at the Influencer Conference on "Change" at Saatchi & Saatchi, October 6 (Aisha Bowden,
    José-Luis Hernández-Estrada, Jennifer Kessler)

  • Gathering at Jamie Bernstein's house with the fellows and Harmony Program Executive Director Anne Fitzgibbon
  • Meeting with Jesse Rosen and Polly Kahn from the League of American Orchestras about the orchestral landscape in the U.S and potential benefits of El Sistema in engaging communities around orchestral music

Children from the Corona Youth Music Project in Queens
  • The musical touch: SFJazz Collective show of Stevie Wonder arrangements and originals by this amazing band of star composer-performers

(Here's their video from last spring of "Do I Do" by Jack Conte of Pomplamoose. If you look closely, you'll see me grooving behind Robin Eubanks, the trombonist, during his solo.)

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