Inaugural Cohort of Debut Fellowship Recipients Announced

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Inaugural Cohort of Debut Fellowship Recipients Announced


Inaugural Cohort of Debut Fellowship Recipients Announced

Young Musicians Foundation and Artistic Advisor Vijay Gupta Launch Fellowship For Developing Leaders in Community Engagement and Civic Artistry

Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Executive Director Walter Zooi and Artistic and Program Advisor Vijay Gupta today introduced the inaugural cohort of Debut Fellowship recipients. The Fellowship includes a $5,000 stipend, extensive professional development and direct experience in working with the students and communities YMF serves.

The dual goals of the Debut Fellowship Program are to empower exceptional musical artists and educators to become effective change agents and advocates for the arts, especially music education, while broadening and deepening the work of YMF’s schools and sites educational programs. YMF currently provides music instruction to over 4,500 students at 26 partner schools and sites in underserved, under-resourced districts and communities. “Engaging our communities is essential: not only as some moral imperative to assuage our dedication to a rarified art form,” explained Vijay Gupta, “but as a critical, viable and imminently imperative pathway to realizing our greatest good as artists – and community members.”

Debut Fellows will receive professional development in Community Engagement, Organization Building and Advocacy, Communications and Fundraising, and other areas crucial to developing and maintaining effective initiatives for systemic change. As importantly, Fellows will gain direct experience in community engagement by working directly with the student and community populations YMF serves.

The cohort were selected based on their demonstrated commitment to social justice and systemic change through the arts in education, specific expertise or concentration in community-based arts education or programming, and diversity of experiences in terms of communities or populations served and areas of interest. “The diversity and depth of experiences, accomplishments and interests this cohort brings to YMF is fantastic,” commented Walter Zooi, “we’re excited by the many possibilities for change and growth for the Fellows themselves and for YMF as an organization.”

The first cohort of Debut Fellows includes:

Nina Shekhar: Nina is a composition graduate student at the University of Southern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, earning dual degrees in music composition and chemical engineering and graduating summa cum laude.

Dr. James Sherry: James holds a DMA from the Peabody Conservatory and a PhD in Music Education from the University of Iowa. He served as Director of Instrumental Music at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Dubuque, Mahidol University College of Music in Thailand.

Federico Zuniga: Federico is active in the Latin alternative music community. Currently, he is teaching Son Jarocho alongside Jarocho master Cesar Castro for the Arts in Corrections Program via the Alliance for California Traditional Arts at Norco State Prison.

Young Musicians Foundation (YMF)

The Young Musicians Foundation’s (YMF) mission is to empower under-served, often marginalized students to find creativity, connection and joy through music, which they’ve been doing since 1955. The Debut Fellows program was created as part of an organization-wide re-alignment and restructuring process. Through this process it became clear that YMF needed to be structured around one central program with a clearly defined mission and service model. The program that was demonstrating the greatest impact, experiencing the greatest demand was the Teaching Artist Program. The evidence of this impact was undeniable. Since the summer of 2016 YMF’s Teaching Artist Program has grown from serving approximately 1,100 students at 11 schools and sites to now serving over 4,500 students at 26 schools and sites on a weekly basis throughout the school year.

YMF’s innovative approach to music training reaches students ages 4 to adult covering a 195-square-mile area in greater Los Angeles. In addition to serving school site partners, YMF also works with formerly gang-involved, recently incarcerated men and women in partnership with Homeboy and foster youth through a partnership with UCLA Bruin Guardian Scholars Academy and Alpert School of Music.

For more information on the Young Musicians Foundations and their programs visit

Fulfilling Public Broadcasting’s Educational Mission

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Fulfilling Public Broadcasting’s Educational Mission

“The purpose of public media is to provide programs and services that
inform, educate, enlighten and enrich the public and help inform civil discourse essential to American society.” 

“It is CPB’s particular responsibility to encourage the development of content that involves creative risk and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, especially children and minorities.”

The Children’s Hour is A FREE, weekly one-hour program  with intelligent, thoughtful topics and themes that appeals to the whole family.

Each episode seeks to entertain and educate while recognizing that almost no topic is too “sophisticated” for children.

For more information about The Children’s Hour, visit:

California Burning

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California Burning

Solutions to California’s Wildfire Problem

A five-episode limited series

Natural disasters are increasing across the nation. In the West, these disasters often come in the form of wildfire, and perhaps no State understands the true cost of wildfire as California. While the Golden State has always had forest fires, these conflagrations are progressively becoming harder to control and more deadly. At the same time, California’s population has surpassed 40 million, pushing people further into wild spaces that have been adapted to fire. California Burning takes a deep and critical look at how the state’s fire-prone forests have been managed, and how we can all learn from the past to be better stewards of the land and avoid catastrophic wildfires in the future.

LENGTH: 1 hour (Five total hours)   COST: Free   AVAILABLE: PRX, AudioPort, & Download WEBSITE:

Now in its 4th Season

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Now in its 4th Season

The new season of Ozark Highlands Radio features exclusive live recordings from Taj Mahal, The Secret Sisters, John McEuen, The Seldom Scene, and more.

Ozark Highlands Radio kicked off its 4th Season of new programs in January with:
Banjo Time! Host Dave Smith and banjo royalty Mark Jones explore music of the banjo:

  • From its ancient African roots, we’ll follow the banjo’s transition from a slave instrument into the mainstream of American popular and folk music.
  • Mark and Dave will guide us through performances by various banjo masters covering a myriad of styles into which the banjo has evolved,
  • Mark Jones also offers an archival recording of ubiquitous Ozark banjo legend Bookmiller Shannon performing the tune “Shortnin’ Bread.”
  • Writer, musician, and traditional dancer Aubrey Atwater presents “The African American Banjo,” illuminating the African roots of this enduring musical instrument.

Available FREE on PRX SubAuto and download

For more information, visit our Program page.

Listeners of all ages love Broadway and Hollywood Musicals

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Listeners of all ages love Broadway and Hollywood Musicals

Footlight Parade: Sounds of the American Musical   

Public Radio’s Most Popular and Longest Running Broadway and Hollywood Musical Program

Now Available for Subscription on PRX SubAuto

From Broadway (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen) to the small screen (Jesus Christ Superstar Live,  The Sound of Music Live) to the silver screen (Aladdin, The Lion King), America loves musicals –

Convert this highly educated, culturally passionate and charitable audience into loyal listeners with Footlight Parade: Sounds of the American Musical.

Each week on Footlight Parade: Sounds of the American Musical, Host Bill Rudman delivers an engaging and informative program cleverly connected around a theme.

Footlight Parade features: 

  • The best of Broadway and Hollywood music including rarely heard recordings.
  • Entertaining and insightful backstage stories, anecdotes, and historical perspectives.
  • Exclusive archival interviews with, and in-depth profiles of  America’s greatest actors, composers, directors and producers, such as Yip Harburg, Barbara Cook, and George Abbott.

For more information, visit: