CCM Director of Development Sarah Mizelle

UC Alumna Sarah Mizelle Joins CCM’s Office of Development and External Relations

University of Cincinnati alumna Sarah Mizelle has been named CCM’s new Director of Development and External Relations. A graduate of UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business (MBA, 2011) and College-Conservatory of Music (MA Arts Administration, 2013), Mizelle begins her new position on Monday, May 22.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah back to the UC Foundation and CCM,” says Karen Tully, CCM’s Senior Director of Development and External Relations. “I had the pleasure of getting to know Sarah while she served as a graduate assistant in CCM’s Development and External Relations Office from 2009 to 2011. She quickly became a valuable member of our team, coordinating many of the outreach and special events sponsored by CCMpower, our volunteer fundraising organization. We are delighted to have her rejoin the CCM family.”

Mizelle returns to CCM with a decade’s worth of leadership experience in building strong school communities through student, alumni and donor engagement. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Madeira Schools Foundation, where she successfully oversaw a $600,000 capital campaign to build a new fitness center at Madeira High School. During her tenure, the Madeira Schools Foundation’s annual auction also achieved the highest gross profit since its inception in 1985.

Prior to her position at the Madeira Schools Foundation, Mizelle was Executive Director of the Friends of the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), an organization dedicated to securing resources that enhance SCPA’s creative environment and enable the development of each student’s artistic potential.

Mizelle worked in CCM’s Development Office during her time as a student in CCM’s Arts Administration graduate program. She also served as manger of social media marketing and public relations for a CCM summer festival in Spoleto, Italy, in 2011.

Mizelle received her BM in Music Education from Miami University, Oxford, in 2004. She has continued her involvement in music and the performing arts throughout her career, volunteering for such organizations as People Working Cooperatively (PWC) Ohio and Cincinnati Music Theatre. At Cincinnati Music Theatre, Mizelle served as vocal director for productions of The Music Man and Sunset Boulevard and artistic director for Crazy For You, each of which won an Orchid Award for Excellence from the Cincinnati Association of Community Theatres.

“The arts have been an enormous part of my life and have shaped who I am today,” says Mizelle. “I am beyond thrilled to return to CCM, an institution where the arts thrive everyday. I am proud to have the opportunity to further the mission of such a truly special place.”

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Mizelle back to the CCM family!

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News
Eddy Kwon with the MyCincinnati youth orchestra.

Alumnus Receives $50K Fellowship for Work with MYCincinnati Youth

United States Artists, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting artists and innovators, awarded alumnus Eddy Kwon an unrestricted $50,000 Fellowship to encourage his work with young Cincinnati musicians.

Eddy Kwon

Eddy Kwon.

Kwon (BM Violin Performance, 2011) co-founded MYCincinnati with cellist Laura Jekel shortly after he graduated from CCM. The youth orchestra program offers free music lessons to children in Price Hill. It is part of Price Hill Will, which strives to revitalize the neighborhood through renovating homes, creating community gardens and other community-building initiatives.

“Price Hill has many wonderful assets, but, in 2011, it was clear that there were not many opportunities for intense, high-quality arts engagement in the neighborhood,” says Kwon. “Since MYCincinnati’s founding, we have always been at enrollment capacity with a long waiting list, which clearly demonstrates the community’s desire for such a program.”

The unrestricted fellowship gives Kwon financial support, which will allow him to “take some risks” in developing future projects as he deepens his investment in MyCincinnati and Price Hill, he says. Kwon is one of 45 innovators to receive the 2016 United States Artists Fellowship. The winners were nominated by peers and field experts for their impacts on their respective fields, including architecture and design, dance, literature, media and music. Each fellow receives $50,000 to help them continue to pursue excellence and innovation in their crafts.

“It’s an honor that I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I quite deserve,” says Kwon. “It’s a reminder that there is so much more we need to do to ensure that all young people — not just those with access to privileged resources — have opportunities to build upon their imaginations and be recognized for their work.”

MYCincinnati is a “musical family,” Kwon says. The program is modeled after El Sistema, a Venezuelan program that engages at-risk children in extensive music classes and rehearsals that culminate in the renowned Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra. El Sistema is not a parent organization to MYCincinnati; rather, the latter is part of a loose network of programs inspired by the Venezuelan initiative. All of these groups strive to teach young people more than just music.

“At its core, MyCincinnati is a youth development program that uses music as a vehicle,” says Kwon. “We’ve seen children that, when they are first enrolled, cannot focus for more than a couple minutes at a time. After a year of MYCincinnati, they are able to focus and strive for excellence for a full hour of rehearsal.”

After several years, the children are also teaching and mentoring younger students and interacting with the community as ambassadors for the program. Some are even composing their own music while others conduct and lead orchestra rehearsals on their own. “There are too many amazing individual stories to recount,” Kwon says.

The Ambassador Ensemble.

Eddy Kwon and the Ambassador Ensemble.

Kwon has been the director of MYCincinnati for several years, and he also directs the organization’s Ambassador Ensemble, an avant-garde string sextet that combines social activism with collaboration and performance. When he isn’t working with MYCincinnati, he often composes and performs with The Happy Maladies, a string quartet of which he is a founding member.

Two years ago, Kwon was awarded a $6,000 Cincinnati Art Ambassador Fellowship, which he used to compose, perform and film three concerts with the MYCincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, the program was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Louise Taft Semple Foundation to continue and expand the Ambassador project, which encourages outstanding MYCincinnati students to develop their own creative projects. All of these awards have allowed Kwon and his organization to shape Price Hill youth into artists, community leaders and mentors to their younger peers.

“I have absolutely seen many positive changes in both individual students, our MyCincinnati community and the greater Price Hill community in the short time MYCincinnati has been active,” Kwon says, adding that the program now has more than 100 students. “MyCincinnati is a musical family, and we strive to make every child feel welcomed, expected and supported.”

____

Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News