2013 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence Yo-Yo Ma and dancer and Aspen Institute Arts Program Director Damian Woetzel host an “Arts Strike” in Detroit, Michigan.
Recently, cellist and 2013 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence Yo-Yo Ma and dancer and Aspen Institute Arts Program Director Damian Woetzel visited Detroit Public Schools’ Spain Elementary-Middle School to stage an Arts Strike, a dialogue between artists and communities first piloted in 2010 by Woetzel and Ma. The event engaged students in interactive dance, music, and poetry exercises in language arts and science classrooms.
Joined by 2014 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence and choreographer Charles “Lil Buck” Rileyand Sphinx Organization founder, violinist, and writer Aaron Dworkin, Ma and Woetzel worked with students and led an all-school assembly for an audience that included Detroit Public Schools leadership, national arts and government officials, and members of the media.
The Arts Strike was presented in conjunction with the larger Aspen Arts Strategy Group, convened by the Aspen Institute Arts Program in partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Strategy-based roundtables on arts education and creative place-making followed with the participation of close to 40 leaders in various sectors, including:
- Annmarie Erickson, executive director of Detroit Institute of Arts
- Jamie Bennett, executive director of ArtPlace America
- Don Graves, deputy assistant secretary for small business, community development and housing policy, US Department of the Treasury
- Dan Lurie, director of strategic partnerships at the National Endowment for the Arts
- Ike McKinnon, deputy mayor of Detroit
- Juanita Moore, president and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
- Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation
- Dennis Scholl, vice president of the arts for the Knight Foundation
- Anne Parsons, president and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Prominent press coverage of the Arts Strike can be found below:
- Detroit Free Press Photo Gallery: Yo-Yo Ma and Other Artists Visit Spain Elementary
- The Detroit News: Yo-Yo Ma and Friends Bring ‘Arts Strike’ to Detroit School
- Deadline Detroit: Yo-Yo Ma Plays Beautiful Music at Detroit School
- Detroit Music Magazine: Yo-Yo Ma and Damian Woetzel to visit Detroit Public Elementary School