Get involved: join the Save ARTreach & the NOLA Trip Facebook group or post in the comments section below to connect with other students.
Did you know that for 10 years, Juilliard students went to New Orleans during spring break? Jeffery Miller, 3rd year jazz student, remembered last year’s trip very positively, saying that “there were great moments all around.” Jeffery had participated both as a local student in New Orleans, and later as a visiting Juilliard student. “It was a beautiful trip,” he said. “When I found out it wasn’t happening anymore, I was just crushed.” Unfortunately, the program was cut in 2016 because the Office of Student Affairs had a challenge finding enough student leaders on time. According to Sabrina Tanbara, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, three student leaders are required to reinstate the NOLA trip, and five are required to reinstate ARTreach as a student organization.
ARTreach’s NOLA trip included a wide variety of exciting activities, from leading arts immersion projects and providing free arts education to giving public performances and rebuilding homes. Juilliard students visited the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, the school Jeffery had attended as a high school student. Visits were paid elsewhere, including the Dryades Y.M.C.A., to work with elementary school– through high school–aged students.
All of this was possible because of ARTreach, a Juilliard student organization generally focused on social change and community service. Originally designed to support survivors of Hurricane Katrina, ARTreach’s NOLA trip combined artistic work with hands on effort to build homes for those who were left with little to nothing after the hurricane. But the exchange didn’t just help hurricane survivors; the program was incredibly enriching for Juilliard students as well. They would come back from the exchange inspired by the creativity and resilience they had witnessed in New Orleans.
Why aren’t we going back? Are there really not three student leaders who would be willing to lead this trip?
Jeffery spoke fondly of Juilliard students coming to his high school. “I saw the level that the musicians were on,” he said, “and I befriended both of the jazz musicians that came to our high school and did the masterclass. It was inspiring to see the level that I could be at.” How many more artists like Jeffery could we encounter and benefit from, if we continued this trip?
There is serious student interest in going back; former leaders and other participants have expressed their enthusiasm to continue. It is always refreshing for artists like us to be able to use our skills to directly impact our audiences. “It was so much fun,” former leader Allison Mase recounted. “It was really what music was about. We were teaching people who just really wanted to learn. And performing for people, who really wanted to listen to us.”
Sabrina Tanbara was also saddened by the trip’s discontinuation. “I’ve gone every year,” she said. “I love this project, so I was, like, crying. It was hard.”
Students have always led this trip to New Orleans. All we need now to make it happen again is a new team of student leaders. In the past, leaders had been previous participants of the program, but maybe we can get some newcomers to gain interest as well. It would take only three students to lead the NOLA trip. It would take only two more students (five total) to re-register ARTreach. We would just have to go to the Office of Student Affairs and inform the staff that we want to re-register ARTreach as a student organization. “The school actually does quite a lot to try to support student projects,” said Tanbara, who also suggested a second possibility of a shorter trip. “If the students wanted to try to do that, they could. But a project only sustains itself when the students want it. I can’t force them.”
So, if the school is on our side, what are we waiting for? If you think you may be interested in restarting ARTreach or going back to New Orleans, join our new Facebook group or post in the comments section below to connect with other students.
4 thoughts on “Save ARTreach & the NOLA Trip”
While ARTreach and NOLA (not exactly sure what the programs are, if related or separate?) seem like wonderful student projects and initiatives at Juilliard, I think it’s inappropriate to insinuate that Juilliard “cut” the program for ulterior motives. As part of the Juilliard community, I find all the resources at the school, from the professors to the materials in the library and collections, extremely supportive of student pursuits of inquiry and certainly service projects. However, this article is misleading and unclear in a variety of ways. Programs that don’t meet the predetermined requisites are not entitled to continued support. In an artistic parallel, that’s like saying “I learned three-fifths of the notes to a piece; let me register to perform this piece anyway.” Furthermore, claiming a program is cut and needs saving seems to suggest the program has been eliminated for good. If not enough students are available for the project this year and the 2016 iteration of this trip is cancelled, surely it will be held next year if the staffing quota is filled? If not, then this article fails to address the severity of the circumstances, and the call to action should be beyond seeking two more staffers for this year’s trip.
As artists and performers at a conservatory, it is clear to each of us what the importance the arts offer and serve. However, if one is to truly expand support for this project, surely there are more rewarding qualities to the trip than that “there were great moments all around” and that “it was so much fun.” It was my initial impression that this might be an op-ed article supporting a successful decade-long program, but it was classified as news. Journalism should be objective and critical. This is ambiguous and generic. I frankly have a lot of questions that this article fails to answer at the most fundamental level (I am not sure what NOLA stands for or what ARTreach is…forgive my ignorance), and would like to invite the author to illuminate some of the details in this piece. The concept of artists serving a community is worth pursuing and this project is a worthy model that deserves the attention and support it needs. I’m not entirely convinced this article was effective, and believe that addressing the specifics of who, what, where, when, why, and how would disseminate more information that would capture the interest of prospective leaders than the assumption that everyone knows everything about what this program is.
I think we read different articles!
There is no insinuation of ulterior motives here. I can promise future articles critical of the administration and institution, but this is not one of them. Mariella seems to put the blame for the demise of ARTreach and the NOLA Trip squarely on student lack of involvement.
You questioned whether Mariella’s article was effective. Not in the Five Ws, to your standards. But, in less than 24 hours, the Facebook action group already has five times the minimum number of students necessary to rescussitate this student-run program.
This program will only continue if students take a break from their work and volunteer to lead it.
Likewise, if you want the student-run newspaper to be different, perhaps you’d enjoy writing with us? We are always looking for new contributors and have an open submission polity. I’ll email you about our next meeting.
Perhaps I read the article in the wrong light and misinterpreted what the article was trying to get across. Of course, any visibility about an issue would increase awareness and it’s great that it’s pulled more students together to support the program! It’s just to someone like myself who hasn’t been aware of the vast spectrum of programs at school, it seems rather confusing and frustrating to not know what the program is about and how it is special amongst other programs offered at the school. I hope my response didn’t come across as curt or offensive; just curious and wanting for a little more information.
And yes, I would love to be involved in some way with this publication – do please email!
Max, I think we did make some assumptions about who was familiar with the program.
For you and for others who may wish to know more history on this program, here’s a 2008 article in the Juilliard Journal, (incidentally, it was written by Finn Wittrock, whom you may see portray Emma Stone’s boyfriend in the film La La Land, currently in theaters)
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