Anthropos Arts connects low-income, at risk youth with professional musicans to cultivate confidence, integrity, and life skills through musical instruction and mentorship. Our students get free instruction and mentoring from some of the best artists in the country and peformance opportunities on Austin's well-know stages and exposure to a wide range of music as both audience members and performers.
Anthropos Arts was founded in 1998 to provide high-quality music education for low-income and at-risk students. We bring top professional musicians from diverse music genres to give free music lessons, workshops, and performance opportunities to students in middle and high schools that have high rates of poverty.
Through Anthropos Arts, students not only get instruction from the best musicians, they also receive mentorship and the opportunity to perform onstage in Austin’s best venues and events.
The benefits of Anthropos Arts programs are profound, affecting many aspects of students’ lives: overall academic success, self-discipline, self-esteem, and a pathway to college. For the past 14 years, 100% of our students have graduated high school, and over 90% of our graduates have gone on to college on scholarship - many of them on ‘full-rides’ to four-year universities! Nearly all of these kids are the first in their families to go to college. Through our programs, we are helping our kids beat the odds.
Music lessons: Each student pairs with a professional musician for instrument or vocal music lessons. While school music programs teach music theory and ensemble performance, schools don’t have the resources to help each student master instruments and prepare for mandatory competitions. Our lessons improve skills, increase knowledge, and boost confidence, helping students master their instrument and practice solo performing skills.
Mentoring: Our staff, volunteers, and music teachers advise students to address a range of life issues, including academics, decision making, goal setting, teamwork, and professionalism. Older students receive guidance on the college selection, application, and financial aid process – and auditions for those going into music programs.
Performing: Students in our program perform in Austin’s most well-known music venues and events, including: ACL Festival, Pachanga Latin Music Festival, SXSW, WOBEON, FuseBox, Shady Grove, Stubb’s, Emo’s, and more. In some cases, they are invited to share the stage with notable touring and local artists, such as Shinyribs, Grupo Fantasma, or Esperanza Spalding.
Exposure to world music: Students learn music from their own cultures and are stretched to perform pieces from jazz, Latin, Indian, Arabic, East and West African, Ska, Hip Hop, Romanian Gypsy, and other genres. While they learn the music, students also learn about the cultures and musicians around the world who create it.
Live music: Financial barriers keep our students and their families from experiencing the diversity of musical performances that come to our community. Through Anthropos Arts, they gain exposure to world music genres in a variety of settings and explore ways that they can become involved in the arts economy of Texas.
Master classes: Not only do we take our students to hear live music, we bring the music to them. When Grammy-winning and world-renown artists tour through Austin, we invite them to teach master classes focusing on specific musical styles or instruments. Past master classes include Jazz by Rebirth Brass Band, drumming by Abbos Kosimov, classical guitar by Fareed Haque, Indian raga with Idrijit Banbrjee, Latin percussion with Carmello Torres, West African djembe and balafon with Aboubakar Sylla, Flamenco guitar with Jose Tejeda on guitar, and blues vocals with Connie Kirk.