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SEM Receives Grant from NEA in Support of Careers in Public and Applied Ethnomusicology

Wednesday, April 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Evangeline Mee

The Society for Ethnomusicology is pleased to announce that it has received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (Folk & Traditional Arts program) in support of a National Planning Conference on Careers in Public and Applied Ethnomusicology. The conference will be held at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, in Washington, DC, on May 29-30, 2019. To ensure a range of perspectives on ethnomusicological work, the Society has invited twenty participants from across the country, including professors in academic ethnomusicology programs, professionals at public-sector institutions with traditional arts programming, and ethnomusicology graduate students.

 The objective of the conference is to develop and implement an action plan for strengthening career preparation in public and applied work. Intended outcomes include new and revised courses in university ethnomusicology programs, professional development workshops, internships, a mentoring/advisory network, and a resource area on the SEM website. By expanding learning opportunities and resources, the Society will offer new support to younger ethnomusicologists as they seek employment in such settings as archives, museums, arts-presenting institutions, government agencies, publishing and media firms, and organizations focused on health, community development, environmental sustainability, cultural heritage, or other issues.

In response to the NEA’s grant award for this new initiative, SEM President Gregory Barz stated: “This support from the NEA comes at a time when many in ethnomusicology are attempting to reconceptualize the discipline’s center and realign its margins. Ethnomusicology (and ethnomusicologists) have long contributed to the rich activities of public and applied efforts. This grant will allow SEM to take an important stand in the efforts to highlight and develop strategic opportunities and resources.”Following the May conference in Washington, SEM will share its action plan with the general membership and invite further advice and participation. The Society looks forward to broad collaboration with academic programs and other organizations in building capacity for innovative work in public and applied ethnomusicology in diverse institutional environments.

For more information about the project, please contact Stephen Stuempfle, SEM Executive Director, at This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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