Application Deadline: Sunday, January 15, 2023 – 11:59pm PST
Thank you for your interest in presenting at the 2023 El Sistema USA® National Symposium! The event will take place in person from March 9-11, 2023 at Butler University. This year’s theme is “Equity and Excellence in Music Education.”
Below are important details regarding the Request for Proposals process.
Proposals should connect to the ESUSA mission, vision, and one or more of the focus areas below.
Please note that the areas of focus are intended as guides to the 2023 National Symposium’s focus. Submissions pertaining to other topics and new voices are also welcome.
ESUSA Mission & Vision
El Sistema USA® supports a nationwide movement of programs inspired by El Sistema to effect social change through music for children.
El Sistema USA® is a national voice for the intersection of musical excellence and equity in music education, with a focus on student agency and voice. We are a central resource and dialogue space for music teaching artists, organizations, researchers, educators, policy makers and funders to understand this intersection.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Practices & Progress
In what ways does your organization focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) practices in all levels; from programming, with board members, community partnerships, teaching artists, and everything in between? How are you connecting your work with systemic changes? Share any practices, continuing or new, that your organization has been implementing to ensure that EDI is embedded in your work. Mental Health and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) are important components of EDI practices. How does your organization support students and families through an SEL lens or with mental health?
Excellence in music making and beyond is core to the El Sistema identity. Consider not only musical excellence in the traditional sense of playing at a high level but also holistic excellence within a program and at different levels and stages in a student’s development. Excellence may refer to a program’s holistic impact, excellence in community engagement, or providing high quality resources to students to support their learning. How does excellence factor into your program and strategy for student impact? How does excellence as you define it support equity?
Student Leadership & Voice
This year El Sistema USA is hosting a cohort of high school Youth Ambassadors who will curate sessions for the symposium around the theme of youth leadership and equity. How has your program or classroom been a vehicle for youth voice, agency, and leadership? How does this further your program’s equity goals? What are some tangible ways we can elevate youth voice early on and create pathways for students into college and careers in and outside of the arts?
**If a presenter is interested in working with the Youth Ambassador cohort on a youth leadership themed session, please indicate this on your application.
Elements of Strong Proposals
- Address one or more focus areas listed above. We are interested in what excellence looks like in music education in a variety of ways, how it interacts with equity, and how youth leadership supports equity and excellence.
- Consider not only musical excellence in the traditional sense of playing at a high level but also holistic excellence within a program and at different levels and stages in a student’s development. Excellence may refer to a program’s holistic impact, excellence in community engagement, or providing high quality resources to students to support their learning.
- Address issues of equity across our Sistema-inspired programs. These could encompass a variety of ideas, including representation in the classroom and organizational leadership, board development, fundraising, distribution of power across your organization, and the families that support it, among others. We are also looking for proposals that explore the connection between equity, mental health, and emotional health.
- Demonstrate a plan to engage attendees in a participatory and interactive way.
- Feature session leaders with diverse job titles and diverse program representation (i.e. administrators & teaching artists co-presenting; program leaders from different programs co-presenting).
- Share content through a lens of socio-cultural awareness and culturally responsive practices.
- Encourage active music-making, when appropriate.
Note: The Symposium committee will take into consideration geographic diversity, background, and experience. The committee will compile a final group of sessions with even representation for all ESUSA target audiences (teachers, program staff, and administrators).
Should you have any questions, please contact Trina Christensen, Director of Sistema Utah and the 2023 El Sistema USA® National Symposium Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.