Community Music Institute Receives $10,000 from 50 Fund

Photo: Mathew Imaging

Gustavo Dudamel, who will perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, has been a key figure in the launch of YOLA, a youth orchestra in Los Angeles, California. SJSU is developing a similar initiative. (Photo: Craig T. Mathew/ Mathew Imaging for LA Phil).

An SJSU initiative inspired by the success of Super Bowl 50 halftime performer Gustavo Dudamel has received a $10,000 gift from a game-related charity and could receive $10,000 more with your help.

All you need to do is go to the StubHub Fan Fair website, scroll down to “StubHub Gives Back to the Bay Area,” and vote for the SJSU Community Music Institute before Feb. 5. The five organizations that receive the most votes will get an extra $10,000.

The winners will be announced Super Bowl Sunday.


Inspiration

Coordinator of Music Education Diana Hollinger founded the Community Music Institute in 2006. A branch of the SJSU School of Music and Dance, the program provides musical instruments and lessons to children.

Hollinger’s inspiration, and the subject of her dissertation, is Venezuela’s El Sistema music education program, which offers a classical music education to disadvantaged youth. Dudamel, the exuberant musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is among its best-known alumni. He will perform at this year’s halftime show.

“SJSU resides in a diverse, creative, and vibrant local cultural life, yet many of our resident urban schools have high levels of student poverty and little or no music education. We hold that every child deserves a complete and quality music education, and that this improves the lives of children and their communities,” Hollinger said.

Projects

The Young Musicians’ Project is one of CMI’s initiatives. It pairs music majors with local elementary, middle, and high school musicians for one-on-one lessons. Now, Hollinger would like to start a String Project, focusing specifically on string instruments.

SJSU student gives a one-on-one violin lesson to a boy.

Photo: Brian Stanley, ’16 Journalism

“The first $10,000 finances the instruments. The extra $10,000 would allow us to provide stipends to the SJSU music students who will teach on these instruments. This is an important piece, as so many of our own students struggle to pay tuition and living expenses,” Hollinger said.

These projects provide the SJSU music majors with hands-on teaching experience, while offering private lessons to young people who would otherwise lack access to such opportunities.

Approximately 15 SJSU students worked with 30 children on the Young Musicians’ Project last semester. There’s room for growth. With more than 100 music education majors, SJSU is one a top provider of music teachers and band directors to Bay Area schools.

Changing lives

Hugo Garcia, ’17 MA Music Education, is the program director for the Young Musicians’ Project. He’s motivated by personal experience.

I come from a low socioeconomic background, and I didn’t have much of a music education because the majority of opportunities to get a good quality music education were and still are very expensive. However, I loved music, and I found that it helped me learn and it helped me find my focus,” he said.

“I think that if I had more of an opportunity to study music, my schooling would not have been as difficult as it became. I had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get the music education that I now believe should be free.”

SJSU connected with StubHub through the 50 Fund, which provided SJSU the initial $10,000 gift. The 50 Fund is the signature philanthropic initiative of Super Bowl 50. Its goal is to help close the opportunity gap that exists for Bay Area children, youth, and young adults living in low-income communities.

 

“The Blue & the Beyond” Captures Film Festival Audiences

A film produced by Animation/Illustration students–on their own time outside the classroom–has succeeded in capturing the attention of film festivals across the United States and Canada.

Youri Dekker, ’15 Animation/Illustration, originally proposed “The Blue & the Beyond” as a capstone class project for his bachelor’s of fine arts program.

When his instructors took a different route, Dekker hunkered down in an empty classroom with nine classmates, re-worked the story, and began sketching.

“There was a level of excitement because this project was so big and no one in our program had ever done anything like this before, to this scale, and with so many characters,” Dekker said.

Help from 117 classmates

Photo: Courtesy of Youri Dekker

Photo: Courtesy of Youri Dekker

Part way through, Dekker went back to his instructors for advice on the story, production process and managing everyone coming on board, including a good portion of the Shrunkenheadman club.

One year and one day later, in August 2015, they completed the 9.5-minute animated short, with help from 117 classmates total, inspired by Dekker’s vision.

Described as “the story of a young, imaginative man named Charlie, who is searching to find someone like him in a world where he is different in every way,” the film was shown at the Barrie Film Festival Oct. 17 in Ontario and SPARK Animation 2015 Oct. 25 in Vancouver.

Bay Area audiences will get their chance at the Pictoclik film festival and Bay Area Women in Film & Media 2015 Shorts Showcase this November in San Francisco.

Gratitude

Photo: Courtesy of Youri Dekker

Photo: Courtesy of Youri Dekker

Kimberly Mucha and Samia Khalaf, who also graduated with BFAs in Animation/Illustration this past May, served as producers.

A Netherlands native raised near Fresno, Dekker plans to pursue a career in animation. He interned with Pixar on “The Good Dinosaur.”

But for now, this recent graduate’s just feeling grateful for this dream come true, made possible by his friends at San Jose State.

“I told our crew, ‘We’re making this for an audience,’” Dekker said. “‘We’re making this so not only we can enjoy the film, but so other people can enjoy what we created and made.’”

 

Faculty Member Re-Creates Antiquities Destroyed by ISIS

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Morehshin Allahyari (Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications).

SJSU lecturer and artist Morehshin Allahyari is using technology to save art from the past for the future.

She started her latest project, “Material Speculation: ISIS,” after seeing images of ISIS fighters destroying ancient artifacts at the Mosul Museum in Iraq. Not only does the Iranian-born artist have a personal interest in re-creating the 3,000-year-old art work, but her research lies at the nexus of 3-D technology, art and activism.

“I think there’s a lot of interest around ways you can use new technology to resist something political, but also how, as artists, you can respond to social, cultural and political events of our contemporary way of life,” Allahyari said.

3-D printers

One of the four miniature artifacts destroyed by ISIS. (Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications)

Using 3-D printers, Allahyari produced miniature versions of four of the artifacts destroyed by ISIS. The reproductions are miniature, plastic replicas of the original pieces.

“Getting accurate information about the artifacts was one of the most challenging aspects of the project,” she said. “So I included a flash memory card inside these artifacts, where I think about this idea of a time capsule. So in 20 to 30 years, people can take out these artifacts and have access to the information.”

The 3-D pieces are on display in Florence, Dallas, Istanbul, and soon, New York. Allahyari is traveling to each city to speak about her work. She’s also planning on re-creating five or six more artifacts that were destroyed by ISIS.

Art and history

As a new media artist, Allahyari believes we are entering an era of having access to certain kinds of artifacts, and having more affordable high-tech tools as a way to document and archive history.

“I think it’s really, really interesting to see in 10 years how that will change the whole landscape of museums, digital and physical archiving, and our role in general, as humans, to save, reflect back, or think about concepts related to history,” Allahyari said.