Fulbright and mtvU sent students around the world to study and promote "the power of music." Check out their blogs here.

Announcing Our 2014-2015 Fulbright-mtvU Grantees

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships, Benjamin Cohn of University of Puget Sound, Jillian Marshall of Cornell University, Martha O’Donovan of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies, Scott Shigeoka of Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, and Corinne Stokes of University of Texas at Austin. These five U.S. scholars will be conducting research and sending blog updates from Ghana, Japan, Zambia, Iceland and the United Arab Emirates respectively for one academic year on projects that are designed to promote “the power of music” as a global force for mutual understanding. Best of luck!

 

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Thursday, August 28th, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

THE KINGDOM’S OTHER REFUGEES

(Non-Arabic speaking readers can access English subtitles for this video by using the “captions” button located in the bottom right corner.)

Better, together.

My colleagues and I reach the small, withered doorway of an old apartment building in central Amman after a precarious decent down a steep set of craggily concrete stairs. From outside we can hear a group of voices talking over the dim hum of a grainy radio, though access to the building is obstructed by a canopy of wet, drying clothes strung about a low lying chain of crisscrossed metal wires.

Inside, surrounded by the building’s unfinished walls, fifteen or so men are gathered around the makings of a modest dinner. Though they have little – just black beans and rice – they are quick to invite us for supper. We politely decline and instead ask to see the rest of the two-bedroom apartment that the men share.
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 Audio, Thoughts, Video 5 Comments

CREATIVE REFUGE I: AptART

Since March, my time in Amman has been dedicated to launching and growing Sound It Out! (SIO) the music and theatre based language learning program that I introduced in my last post. Now in its third month, the project has begun to find its rhythm. Each week, a local staff of musicians, theatre artists and language instructors collaborate to offer 25 music and theater sessions for 400 displaced and disadvantaged children in Jordan.

The SIO team is currently working on a short video piece about the project, which I look forward to sharing once complete. In the meantime, I’m excited to introduce “Creative Refuge”, a summer long blog series examining other music, theatre and arts initiatives that work with refugee youth in Jordan.

AptART’s Camp Colors

Zaatari Refugee Camp, AptART 2014.

Jordan is among the most water poor places in the world. According to the United Nations, any country with an annual water supply of less than 500 cubic meters (cm) per person is considered to have “absolute scarcity” of water. Jordan’s annual per capita supply registers at just under 150cm.
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Thursday, June 5th, 2014 Thoughts No Comments

PA’ PICAR 010 – BOGOBEATZ

Para leer en español, click aquí.

I’d like to introduce you to Steven, Franky, Jhon, Brian, Pedro, Diego and Angie, also known as the recently-incarnated music production crew Bogobeatz.

Since the New Year, I’ve been facilitating a digital production workshop series at la Fundación Familia Ayara, a Bogotá-based organization of “hip hoppers changing the world.” The objective of the project has been to provide the students with weekly music production workshops at no cost, focusing on utilizing free downloadable production software like FL Studio and compatible software plugins. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to break down the basics of music production into weekly components so that students can walk away with practical skills to work on their own original production projects from their homes or from wherever they can access a computer setup.
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Monday, May 12th, 2014 Audio, Video 8 Comments

Why You’ve Never Heard of Any Other Online Record Labels from Northern Ghana

The Internet doesn’t work in this part of West Africa the same way it does in the US. It is always slow, and pretty inconsistent. Even with disposable income and unlimited free time, trying to do simple things like checking email, not to mention watching YouTube videos or listening to streaming music can feel like an exercise in futility. As I’m sitting here at the Wooden Cafe—the only place in town with free Wi-Fi—a number of other expats sit around me, patiently trying to use the Internet. My friend and fellow Fulbrighter Karl Haas has been trying to open an email for about ten minutes. Not an attachment, just an email. So starting an online record label here is challenging, to say the least.
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Monday, May 5th, 2014 Audio 15 Comments

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