One of the most rewarding projects NEXMAP created is the new elective class we offered at June Jordan School for Equity. NEXMAP produced over fifty different events over seven years, yet what gave me the deepest satisfaction was to see teenagers get fired up with their compositions and to see them go from using computers primarily for logging onto YouTube and Facebook to being able to record sounds; download their sound files, label them, edit them, upload them onto a blog; comment on each other’s blog pages; learn to make sounds with a bread board and capacitors; and eventually learn enough about music editing that they presented a 2-minute composition with loops and simple effects­–all this within 12 weeks. Astonishing. And yes, they were able to find their files from week to week and they remembered where and how to save their passwords. I call these: essential life skills in this 21st century but this was an art elective.

I am so thrilled to see the NEXMAP education program rejuvenated with its new young and energetic director, Jennifer Dick. Her experience and knowledge is remarkable and what is even more impressive is how much she loves what she does; she loves to share her passion and it is truly contagious.

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