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The Canales Project to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

NEW YORK, NY. – The Canales Project (TCP), a nonprofit organization guided by a vision to give voice to issues of identity and culture through music, has been approved for a $15,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support a collaborative project in partnership with El Sistema USA® (ESUSA). This project will commission composers from TCP’s initiative Hear Her Song to arrange their songs for El Sistema USA-affiliate youth orchestras, bands and choirs. This project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.

Launched in 2017, Hear Her Song is a collaborative initiative honoring diverse women leaders with original songs written by female composers and songwriters across the globe. To date, Hear Her Song has commissioned over 40 songs, honored over 38 leaders, employed 65 artists, and collaborated with 10 partner organizations, involving a total of 11 countries. By commissioning arrangements for ESUSA®-affiliate programs’ youth ensembles, TCP will further provide critical paid opportunities for the composers, expose youth to music of modern female composers that highlight stories of women leadership, and provide greater generative exposure for the participants and organizations involved.
Furthermore, these composers represent divergent musical styles and identity backgrounds, inviting a dialogue that fosters mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups. In engaging with this project, ESUSA® students will learn new forms of artistic advocacy that broadens our understanding as individuals and as a society.

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as The Canales Project re-engage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure”.

For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

The Canales Project (TCP) is a musical organization hosting a variety of collaborative,
advocacy-centered projects that give voice to issues of identity and culture through music and conversation. Founded in 2016 by Carla Canales, TCP programs have provided diverse offerings including commissioning new works, performances, educational platforms and professional development. These programs collaborate with organizations across the globe, aligned with mutual efforts in advocating social change for issues such as cultural conflicts, accessibility rights and gender equality. Our projects aim to speak to audiences across the globe, helping to discover and celebrate the common bonds that link different cultures together.

El Sistema USA® (ESUSA) is a national alliance of individuals and organizations inspired by the Venezuelan model of El Sistema. El Sistema USA’s mission is to support and grow a nationwide movement of programs inspired by El Sistema to effect social change through music for children with the fewest resources and the greatest need.Using collective music instruction to support social change through music for youth in under-resourced communities, the goal of El Sistema is to increase access to opportunity and build social capital through academic and musical excellence. ESUSA’s diverse membership across the United States represents programs that serve some of the most vulnerable communities and children throughout the country. Members collaborate to share resources, values,
aspirations, and advocacy efforts. The members of ESUSA envision a world where every child has access to music through intensive ensemble training and performance to promote positive youth development and thriving communities.

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