The Adolf Busch Award is pleased to announce this year’s recipients: Musicambia and Beyond the Bars. Musicambia has received the $10,000 award, and Beyond the Bars has been awarded $5,000.
Musicambia, which began in 2014, provides music opportunities to populations within prisons and jails throughout the United States. The classes include composition, performing, instrument lessons and music theory. Musicambia believes a more humane criminal legal system in the United States is necessary. They aim to build supportive and creative communities that foster meaningful connections, communication, self-confidence and positive self-image within the harsh environment of prison. The goal is to provide participants with an opportunity to develop useful life skills through the study and performance of music that will serve them well upon re-entry into society. In fact, there is an alumni program outside prisons, which continues a music-based approach to building community.
Beyond the Bars is based in Philadelphia and serves the adolescent population, ranging from middle to high school, who have been impacted by violence. The organization’s goal is to give this population easy access to music, so that they have the opportunity to recognize potential new passions in their lives. The organization has built 26 music labs around the city, in locations such as shelters, trauma clinics and recreational centers. Beyond the Bars intends for the music education to work in three phases for dedicated members: self-expression, self-efficacy (realizing your talents), and then self-exploration (including talents in your future plans). Six students in the Beyond the Bars program have returned as teachers, and the $5,000 award will go toward student teaching training tracks, encouraging current members to take on leadership roles within this community.
We were impressed with the amount of quality applications, which made it a competitive year for the award. Thank you to all the worthy organizations who applied, especially our additional finalists, Enriching Lives Through Music, Heartbeat Music Project, Mexican-American Council and Shelter Music Boston. We are looking forward to next year’s award process, so stay tuned for more information.