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A man teaches a girl the violin as part of Kids 4 Harmony, a program of Berkshire Children and Families.

In the late 1500’s the first secular music conservatories were founded in Italy, in orphanages. The social benefits of music making, the ability to create community, catalyze the growth of young people, and create social change was a founding principle of music instruction not just for the most talented but for those most in need. The Mass Cultural Council celebrates and supports music making as a vital tool in creating whole and healthy young people throughout the Commonwealth.

SerHacer (To be, To make) is focused on supporting the growing number of intensive, ensemble-based music programs that enable music as a vehicle for youth development and social change. Inspired by the work of El Sistema, the program brings together public schools, private schools, charter schools, community music schools, conservatories, orchestras, community organizations, universities and social service organizations, to work together to expand access to social and artistic music-making opportunities for the 193,000 children living in poverty and countless more without access to the arts in the Commonwealth. Through technical assistance, grants, and convenings, SerHacer is focused on working with partners around the Commonwealth to support the conversation around music making that measures success not only in ticket sales, but in children and communities as well.

SerHacer is a part of the Mass Cultural Council's Creative Youth Initiative. For updates on SerHacer, join our Creative Youth News list, and visit Seen & Heard, our Creative Youth Development blog.

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