Manhattan School of Music Announces 2021-22 Class of Artist Scholars and School’s Artist Citizen in Residence

By Chris Ruel

Manhattan School of Music has announced its 2021-22 Class of Artist Scholars. The scholars will open space for dialogue on issues of racial equity, inclusion, and representation by relating their own experiences.

This year’s 10 Scholars represent esteemed and influential artists, activists, educators, and arts leaders. Comprising this year’s class is Justine Chen, composer, violinist, and educator; Khori Dastoor, General Director and CEO of Houston Grand Opera (beginning in January 2022); Ras Dia, youth-focused arts programmer; blogger, author, public speaker, and activist Hannah L. Drake; Brothers Aldo López-Gavilán, pianist and composer, and Ilmar Gavilán (MM ‘01), violinist; Marc Bamuthi Joseph (“Bamuthi”), 2017 TED Global Fellow and Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact at the Kennedy Center; Lucia Lucas, baritone and activist; Britton Smith, actor, President of Broadway Advocacy Coalition; and Ed Yim, Chief Content Officer and Senior Vice President, WQXR (New York’s Classical Music Radio Station).

The Scholars will join MSM in a variety of forums, including panels, seminars, discussion groups, special performances, musical collaborations, and mentorship. The program is part of the School’s Cultural Inclusion Initiative.

MSM also announced Phil Chan, activist, author, and educator, has been named the School’s Artist Citizen in Residence. Chan is the co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface, an influential organization that advocates for the elimination of offensive Asian stereotypes on performing arts stages. As the School’s Artist Citizen in Residence, Chan will be hosting four workshops and participating in a Community Reads book club event that focuses on his book, “Final Bow for Yellowface: Dancing between Intention and Impact.”

“We believe in the collective responsibility to bring a more inclusive canon to the conservatory curriculum,” Executive Vice President and Provost Joyce Griggs said in the School’s press release. “MSM continues to focus on the important work of creating a more complete education, and this year’s Artist Scholars roster represents one important extension of that effort.”