Our mission of using music to bring kids from city and suburban schools together for social justice work was featured on Chanel 6 News September 14, 2020. Check the story out HERE.
The Philly Sound Exchange started in 2018-2019 with the goal of bringing city and suburban high school students together to use music as a common language for engaging in conversations around race, equity, and social justice. The pilot program between Plymouth Whitemarsh HS and KIPP DuBois in West Philly was funded by the Mann Center and contributions from the two school districts. Students recorded a 5 song EP of original music and produced a short film documenting their collaboration. In March of 2020 students from PW, KIPP, and St. Joes Prep came together virtually to make music that represented their shared experiences with Covid-19 and quarantine.
In May of 2020 our country was thrust into an awakening and there is now a bright light shining on the need for more work around Racial Justice, especially in schools. We currently have 6 school partners for the 2020-2021 school year including Springfield Township HS, South Philly High, Garnet Valley HS, KIPP Dubois Charter, Parkway Northwest, and Plymouth Whitemarsh. We also have commitments from corporate sponsors including Live Nation and Vans to help us expand our programming.
Our 2020-2021 goal is to fund our 3 virtual collaborations and a culminating Visual Album release in May of 2021. Each collaboration will include teacher professional development around Social Justice curriculum, student leadership development, musical/social justice facilitation, and professional studio recording/mixing/mastering. After the songs are recorded we will coordinate with school-based media arts programs as well as dance, visual art, and drama programs to develop and capture content for the production of the visual album. Our video production staff will work alongside student producers to assure professional quality shareable content throughout the year culminating in a virtual visual album release party.
In the summer of 2021 students will have opportunities to participate in college prep programming through our partnership with Temple University's music department with a goal of recruiting black/brown students into the field of music education and training in culturally responsive music curriculum.
All of our programming is in alignment with our 4 guiding pillars:
1. Use music as a common language to engage students in collaborative, cross-cultural, student-centered projects.
2. Equip students with tools for engaging in conversations around race, equity, and social justice.
3. Produce professional quality digital content and live performances in order to amplify student voice.
4. Disrupt systemic racism in education by promoting career pathways for minority arts educators and implementing culturally responsive arts curriculum.
Your support will help us achieve our mission!
Philly Sound Exchange is a registered 501(c)3 focused on engaging and empowering youth through the arts. We thank you for your tax-deductible donation!