Announcing Our 2015-2016 Fulbright-mtvU Grantees

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships, Christa Majoras of Boston University College of Communication, Brian Parker of Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Sarah Plovnick of Washington University in St. Louis, Dimitri Staszewski of Loyola University New Orleans, and Lena Weissbrot of Florida State University. These five U.S. scholars will be conducting research and sending blog updates from Serbia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Mongolia and South Africa 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!

 


Christa Majoras

Christa Majoras

School: Boston University College of Communication
Major: Film and TV
Country Visiting: Serbia

Christa Majoras earned a B.S. in Film and Television from Boston University College of Communication in 2010. For her Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship, Majoras will travel to Serbia to research how young Serbians are expressing, creating, and changing culture through the underground dance music of Belgrade. Her research will produce a monthly video web series focusing on artists and an in-depth feature length film. Prior to the fellowship, Christa worked on a range of non-fiction media projects for web and broadcast including music programs for PBS, the True Life documentary series, and more.

Brian Parker

Brian Parker

School: Tisch School of the Arts at New York University
Major: Recorded Music
Country Visiting: Chile

Brian Parker received his B.F.A. in Recorded Music from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2011. Parker’s Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship will focus on developing a sonic profile of Chile’s electronic music culture, examining its importance in the global underground. His project involves creating an online archive and record label called Discobres, which will function as an interactive repository for interviews, mixes, and original music by local artists in Santiago and Valparaíso. Via Discobres, Parker hopes to highlight Chile as the flagship Latin American nation for electronic music and to emphasize the ways in which niche music communities forge international and transcultural ties. After his fellowship, he plans on extending the Discobres concept to other countries while furthering his own studies and projects as a musician and writer.

Sarah Plovnick

Sarah Plovnick

School: Washington University in St. Louis
Major: Music and Comparative Arts
Country Visiting: Dominican Republic

Sarah Plovnick is a 2015 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned a B.A. in Music and Comparative Arts. For her Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship, she will research combinations of jazz and Dominican music and how these combinations influence music education and impact cross-cultural interactions. She will collaborate with the DREAM Project in the Dominican Republic to develop a sustainable, replicable music education curriculum for youth in impoverished communities. In recent years, Plovnick has worked with numerous music and education organizations, lived in Spain where she researched the intersection of jazz and flamenco, and performed on both piano and French Horn, with a focus on jazz. Her fellowship builds on these experiences as she continues to explore how music empowers communities and brings people together across cultural boundaries.

Dimitri Staszewski

Dimitri Staszewski

School: Loyola University New Orleans
Major: Music Industry Studies
Country Visiting: Mongolia

Since graduating from Loyola University New Orleans, Dimitri has spent his time merging his passions for exploration and producing multimedia content. His work and studies have led him to work in renowned recording studios around the United States, record music across the Mongolian steppe, wrangle horses in southwestern Colorado, and most recently, to the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyoming. During his fellowship, Dimitri will return to Mongolia to film nomadic herders performing traditional music. His recordings, photography, and writing will be added to his website, www.mongolmusicarchive.com, which he started in 2013. As the performance of traditional Mongolian music becomes dominated by staged performances by professional musicians, Dimitri’s website will highlight an underrepresented and disappearing group of performers. He hopes the website will become a valuable resource and source of inspiration for academics, musicians, and music enthusiasts worldwide.

Lena Weissbrot

Lena Weissbrot

School: Florida State University
Major: Digital Media Art
Country Visiting: South Africa

Lena Weissbrot is a graduate of the Florida State University where she received a B.F.A. in Digital Media Art. In affiliation with Rhodes University, Weissbrot’s fellowship will focus on curating South African artists identifying as feminists who use Hip-hop music as a form of activism. Prior to her Fulbright-mtvu Fellowship, Weissbrot developed an interdisciplinary body of work integrating illustration, animation, video art, and original rap music to create politically charged feminist pieces that inspire social reform in favor of gender equality. Weissbrot’s work has been featured in several international publications, including Dazed Digital, Rhizome.org and The Huffington Post.

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