Hello! My name is Ciyadh Wells. I started working at ACG just a few months ago with Matt Hinsley and everyone on the team. It has been an amazing place to work so far and I am beyond excited to begin getting to know everyone who is in the ACG family.

Since I began working here, I have been constantly inspired and in awe of the continued support that donors like you have shown to ACG. A bright spot in the Austin community and in the world at-large, the work that we do really makes a difference to our community and none of that would be possible without you.

I wanted to take some time to share with you a few of the Beautiful Moments from the past few weeks that you have made possible.

Beautiful Moment #1: Let’s Dance!

A few months ago, Matt received a video of a collaboration that was taking place between students in the Lively Middle Dance Ensemble and the Lively Middle School Advanced Guitar and it was brilliant! So brilliant that we asked them to perform for the David Russell International series concert and they said yes! In many ways, this is what we are trying to achieve, meaningful acts of togetherness in new and imaginative ways. Below you’ll find the video of their performance, one of the most beautiful collaborations I’ve ever seen.

Beautiful Moment #2: The Good that Music Can Do

“What good can music do in the world today?” This is ACG’s guiding question and principle that we ask ourselves in order to make sure that our work is in service of our mission and vision. Before David Russell’s memorizing performance on March 7th, our Let’s Connect pre-concert goers answered a similar question, “What good does music do for you, in your life, and the life of those around you?”. You can click here to read those responses in addition to the response below.

Beautiful Moment #3: Young Voices

Every year the members of the ACG Youth Orchestra go on tour. Though unable to travel together this year, the tour was designed to remove physical and regional barriers and participants of the project shared their statements of belief about how they believe we can continue to create opportunities of togetherness and belonging. Divinia from El Paso gives her statement below. Click here to view more!

Beautiful Moment #4: Our Teachers

We’re so fortunate that many of our educational resources can be used online by students throughout Austin and around the world. One of the more interesting ways that we’ve been able to continue our educational programming online is by reimagining how we can use Letsplayguitar.org, our lifelong guitar learning resources for guitarists in the blind and visually impaired community. We are in the process of creating guidance on how to use this resource for visual learners. Guitarcurriculum.com is an already robust resource that is being used all over the world for guitar teachers and instructors to continue engaging with their students. The picture below is of a recent zoom call in which teachers from around the world gathered to check-in with each other about how to best continue to serve students during this time.

Thank You

All of this is just a small piece of all of the things and ways that we’re continuing to fulfill our mission here at ACG in spite of our ability to be in the same place right now. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, or ways that you’d like to be involved, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are always here.

I wanted to leave you with a picture of the ACG Youth Camerata and a picture of their virtual rehearsal from the other night. This brought a huge smile to my face and I hope it brightens your day.

Ciyadh Wells
Development Associate