You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
Ariel Horowitz calls herself both an artist and an activist. As a Diversity Advocate at the Juilliard School, Ariel used her own experiences growing up in a non-traditional family to open up tough conversations with her fellow students. The Heartbeat Project, founded by Ariel and co-founder Leerone Hakami, addresses the marginalization of arts education in disenfranchised communities.
The Heartbeat project will take place on the Navajo (Diné) Reservation in New Mexico, and is hosted by Navajo Technical University. Ariel and Leerone are returning to the reservation for a second summer, using the Arts Leadership Grant to expand a program that began in 2016. Drawing on Navajo (Diné) traditional education systems, traditional tunes and rhythms and naturally occurring soundscapes in the Navajo Nation, the Heartbeat Project 2017 will employ music instruction as a tool to improve mathematical skills for K-12 Navajo students. The project will include community concerts, collaboration with Diné musicians, and a final performance showcasing the accomplishments of the students.
"Now more than ever is a vital time for us to connect with Native American communities," Horowitz says, "and share an experience of cultural exchange through music — a language that speaks to and from the heart."
More on Ariel:
Ariel was 16 when she first performed on From the Top in 2012. During her interview, she discussed the experience of performing at a high-level competition, her passion for music, and her mom, a former producer with the a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock.
Enter the 2017 MY Hero Songwriting Contest! Deadline: September 17th.
Characters in books and movies who have charged our imaginations with their acts of heroism.