Last year, 21CM launched an annual contest for high school students. Inspired by the work of young leaders, we wondered if we could identify other students who had decided to use their musical gifts for the purpose of doing good in their communities.
Partnering with Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, we offered three cash prizes for the winners’ organizations: $500 to first place, $300 to second place and $200 to third place. Additionally, the top 10 submissions receive a signed copy of Mark Rabideau’s “Creating the Revolutionary Artist: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Musician.”
Now, we are proud to present the winners of our competition. These young musicians have shown their commitment to community engagement while demonstrating that they intend to use their music to make the world a better place. Congratulations to all!
Imani Aah-Leah Sanders-Rasul and The Village of Arts and Humanities
Imani Aah-Leah Sanders-Rasul, 18, is a singer-songwriter working as an assistant teacher at The Village of Arts and Humanities. Based in North Philadelphia, the Village is an artist-facilitated community organization that offers a variety of programs that support arts-based learning for youth, environmental beautification and cultural preservation.
Not only does Imani teach lessons on vocal technique and music production, she also runs workshops meant to raise awareness of social injustice. “At the end of the semester,” she says that she wants “each child to be able to have an intelligent conversation about certain issues in our society and [to] use their art as activism.”
You can watch Imani’s winning video pitch here.
Chloe Cooper and Claire Casanova of Generation Music
Chloe Cooper and Claire Casanova, both 17, founded Generation Music in 2017 in order to provide music education to under-represented youth. Their long-term objective is not just to inspire students to pursue music, but also to help diversify classical orchestras.
Energized by their work so far, Chloe and Claire intend to continue giving music education lessons to area schools and providing free workshops and concerts. In their ideal world, every child would be able to look to the members of a professional orchestra and feel both represented and inspired by the knowledge that they would belong there, too.
You can watch Chloe’s winning video pitch here.
Karolyn Martin and Christina Harding of Fairytale Princess Company
Christina Harding, 18, works as a costumed storybook character for Fairytale Princess Company, founded by Karolyn Martin to bring magic to children’s events. Some of the most meaningful work they’ve done has taken place at the Children’s Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.
Karolyn explains that their work in hospitals must confront “an element of fear.” Through singing, playing games and simply talking with their favorite costumed characters, children are able to overcome that fear and any natural shyness. “For a little while, they’re able to forget about whatever’s going on in their lives and they’re able to just enjoy being a kid.”
You can watch the winning video pitch for Fairytale Princess Company here.