…It was wonderful to see kids getting such high-quality exposure to bluegrass music in a school context. … It’s heartening to see a school program skillfully validating and interpreting traditional acoustic music for youngsters who too often get very different, negative and class-stereotyped messages about their region’s vernacular music in educational settings. Those kids got “inoculated” …through a live performance of bluegrass standards played by top-flight professionals, and your experience in arts ed residencies framed the music for them very nicely. I have no doubt that they all went away informed and inspired, and that the program afforded a formative, significant cultural experience for many of them.
I thoroughly endorse and encourage your continued work in this area, and I think you’re uniquely situated to help implement future programming of this sort. Every school should be lucky enough to benefit from it.
—Robert Cogswell, Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program Director