East Boston’s national award winning youth music and arts has been tapped by the United Nations, the City of Boston and the Sounding Board to work on the Boston Rio+20 Project—a project aimed at raising environmental awareness through music.
Zumix will help bring the Boston Rio+20 Project—a series of workshops for several Boston-based youth organizations culminating in a large-scale performance at 4 p.m. on Saturday March 31 at the Berklee Performance Center. The workshops Zumix will help coordinate will emphasize the importance of youth and the arts in addressing sustainable development and environmental change.
Zumix, who was recently awarded a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award and recognized as one of the top 12 youth arts programs by first Lady Michelle Obama, will perform at the March 31 workshop. Also performing and making presentations will be City Year, Project Hip-Hop, Boston Children’s Chorus, Artists for Humanity, NPR’s From the Top, Grooversity and Berklee College of Music.
“We hope to challenge youth to create and express viewpoints on sustainable development while empowering them as leaders and role models for the Boston community,” said the Sound Board Artistic Directors Brian Kaufman and Michael Reichman in a joint statement. “These programs will give over 100 Boston youth, many low-income and at-risk, a chance to be part of social entrepreneurship in the arts by illuminating international sustainable development.”
The Sounding Board has created multiple productions aiming to instigate social change through the arts. Past participants have included Pulitzer-prize winning composer and author Gunther Schuller, Emmy-nominated composer and performer Daniel Bernard Roumain,
Kaufman and Reichman added that the project would be an opportunity for these underrepresented communities voices’ to be amplified in a high-profile event and United Nations’ national and international on-line communities such as Road to Rio+20 and Global Rockstar.
“Moreover, this project will increase awareness for the United Nations’ goals of addressing climate change, sustainable ecological systems and poverty eradication through a just economy,” said Kaufman and Reichman.
The project is being run in conjunction with the Rio+20 Global Youth Song Competition, a global competition that is part of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development’s 20th Anniversary Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. Through electronic music submissions, the contest will accept original music video submissions from youth to express their hopes, concerns and thoughts on the future of our planet. Some of the songs submitted for the competition will be featured on the March 31 program at Berklee.
The Rio+20 Conference will engage UN delegates and world leaders on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. The conference will feature performances by the top two competition winners showcasing the important role that youth and the arts play in addressing global issues.
Kaufman is the song competition National Coordinator for the United States.