Dear Friends:

Quinteto Latino stands in solidarity with all Black men, women, trans, and gender non-conforming folks in the fight against anti-blackness and the pandemic of racism. 

Like you, I am horrified and saddened by the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony Mcdade, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others due to racial violence.

We echo our friends and colleagues at NALAC and “ask everyone to support the demands organized by the Black organizations who lead the Movement for Black Lives.” View resources, policy platforms, and actions here.

Singing, dancing, and playing is at the heart of Black/African traditions, culture, resilience, survival, and joy. As we advocate on behalf of Latinx composers and classical musicians, we will continue to celebrate and amplify the voices of our Afro-Latinx artists in an equitable manner through our programming.

We will continue to address social inequities, including racism, through critical conversations and community building within the professional classical music field. We will continue to empower Black and Brown students through our education programs. Young players of color need to know they’re not alone.

Black Voices, Black Bodies, Black Culture, Black Lives Matter.

In solidarity,

Black Music Month | Black Culture Matters

During June, the Kennedy Center presents #BlackCultureMatters, a content series that actively centers Black artists and lives that have long shaped American culture (and beyond) with their voices, stories, and creativity. Now and always, we celebrate Imani Winds, the inspiration for Armando to start our ensemble more than 15 years ago. Enjoy an excerpt from Jason Moran’s “Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration.”

Social Change through Arts & Culture

In 1967, the first Smithsonian Folklife Festival was presented against the backdrop of widespread social strife. Artisans, cooks, musicians, and others were called up to share their stories in an Institutional effort to claim diversity as fundamental to the American promise. In many ways, this timely conversation with artist-activists Kojo Johnson, María Isa, Julia L. Gutiérrez-Rivera, and Mark Gonzales is a return to the Festival’s roots. More importantly, it is also a look to the future. Together, they explore the role of expressive culture to lift up the voices of communities, confront our pain-filled past, and work toward the common good.

COVID-19: Investing in Local Arts

The nation’s 4,500 local arts agencies (LAAs) support, present, and promote the dynamic value of the arts. According to Americans for the Arts, “the arts are kindling for the economy—small investments with big returns. They get people out of their homes and spending money. This provides vital income to local merchants, energizes our downtowns, promotes visitation to different neighborhoods, and puts people to work.” Considering our pillars of Performance, Education, and Advocacy, QL resonates strongly with these reasons to support local arts in communities:
Unify communities: The arts provide shared experiences in public spaces. 72% of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity;” 81% of the population says the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world;” and 73% agree that the arts “helps me understand other cultures better.” More than one-third of LAAs use the arts to address social equity, racial awareness, or civic engagement.
Partner in education: 76% of LAAs provide arts education programs or services in the community. Students with an arts education have higher GPAs, standardized test scores, and more college-going as well as lower drop-out rates. These academic benefits are reaped by students regardless of socioeconomic status.
Promote healthy communities: 21% of LAAs use the arts to address physical and mental health issues in their community. Nearly one-half of the nation’s hospitals provide arts programming for patients, families, and staff because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication. 73% of the population feels the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in.”
Build social cohesion: University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates. 67% of LAAs are delivering artistic content to raise community spirits and morale and strengthen community cohesion during the COVID-19 crisis.