NW MI Arts & Culture Network
Archipelago: Summer Musical Innovation and Leadership Academy
Archipelago held its 17th annual Summer Musical Innovation & Leadership Academy (MILA) camp and Workshop Series in Traverse City, Michigan, July 23-July 31, 2021.
Artistic merit for the project was achieved by employing quality teaching artists; offering classes and ensembles enabling student creativity, leadership, communication and collaborative skills; encouraging student learning and performance of music in several styles; and presenting an exciting high-quality concert experience that features students as a means to engage the broader community. MILA filled three specific needs within the Traverse City community:
1) Providing space for student creativity and student agency. Curriculum centered around student agency which provided space for the development of creative skills, entrepreneur skills, and community engagement; helping students develop and realize their potential as young artists and citizens.
2) Provided an affordable high quality summer music education experience for students. MILA was tuition free with only a small activity fee for local students and lodging & food fee for visiting students.
3) Provided the opportunity for cultural exchange. Local students and community members interacted musically and socially with visiting students who come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds from around the country.
Archipelago’s MILA served 35 students in grades 6-12. Students performed in various venues around the region like WNMC radio, TC Senior Center, Central United Methodist Church homeless shelter luncheon, Stormcloud in Frankfort, Right Brain Brewing Company, and Oryana food co-op, and pop-up street performances. These diverse venues reached broad audiences, demonstrating art’s unique ability to transcend demographics and benefit all members of society. Since Archipelago also serves students from underserved music programs from around Michigan and the country, and teaching artists hail from various places throughout the world, such as Baltimore, New York, and Innsbruck, Austria, audiences were exposed to a wide-range of repertoire styles. This resulted in broad and generous support from local businesses, organizations, and private donors. Archipelago received fresh food valued over $1,000, musical instruments on loan valued over $5,000, facility usage valued over $1,000, one hour of on-air radio time, and private donations to help provide tuition-free participation for every student. Performances can be viewed on www.archipelagoproject.org