Art Works Blog

NEA Arts: Composing Enlightenment

"When I was a teenager, I felt stuck on the reservation. It felt like I was ten years behind the whole world. I had no idea what to do with my life and I wanted to quit school. I could feel this whole void opening on top of me." ---Michael Begay, composer

As we learn in "Composing Enlightenment: Bringing Musical Education to Native Communities" by Michael Gallant, Michael Begay---who is now pursuing a career in music composition---no longer feels that way. What changed his mind? Begay is one of many students who has taken part in the Native American Composer Apprentice Project. A project of the Grand Canyon Music Festival, in 2011, the 13-year-old program received a 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Project Award for helping Native youth find their own voices by composing classical music. Click here to read more about this transformative program and the other innovative arts education programs featured in this issue of NEA Arts.

Want to learn even more? Revisit our November 2011 Art Works post on NACAP.

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