The 5/29/2017 edition of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article by Corinne Ramey that examines a program from Carnegie Hall that takes music into New York’s juvenile-justice. What’s particularly interesting is Carnegie’s decision to go beyond simply performing and engage participants.
Carnegie began its justice-system programs in 2009, as part of broader outreach work in homeless shelters, nursing homes and correctional facilities. Initially, participants watched performances, but staff realized writing songs and lyrics more successfully engaged students, particularly young people.
The article goes on to examine Carnegie’s decision to scale back other outreach programs in order to focus more resources on this program, which is good to see.
Most groups tend to cast as wide of a net as possible and they tend to produce jack of all trades, master of none results. In addition to the increased focus, it’s heartening to see the Carnegie program shift from limited tracking efforts to something more in-depth and sustained.
The more arts organizations can quantify the impact of arts programs on at-risk segments of society, the better. Hopefully, Carnegie will be releasing their data as the program develops.
Until then, give Ramey’s article a read. I believe it’s behind the WSJ paywall; if so, I apologize in advance if you can’t access it but I certainly don’t blame media outlets for valuing their content and writers.