September 5, 2014
Press Release: Intercultural Journeys welcomes new Curator
Alex Shaw to join staff as artistic planner and performer
Philadelphia, PA—Intercultural Journeys is pleased to welcome Alex Shaw as its new Curator. Mr. Shaw brings to Intercultural Journeys over 15 years of experience as a musician, composer, and arts educator. Mr. Shaw also serves as the music director for the renowned ensemble Alô Brasil and Brazilian section leader of the Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra.
Mr. Shaw will be responsible for Intercultural Journeys’ artistic programming, which includes both a yearly concert series and a series of community engagement events designed to promote the organization’s mission through critical populations in the Philadelphia region. He will also be responsible for overseeing Intercultural Journeys’ new educational program Dialogues in Music, which presents musicians and artists in schools across the Philadelphia area for eight-week residencies, in-school concerts, and workshops. His appointment comes in conjunction with the start of the 2014-2015 concert season, Songs for Peace, which is set to take place at the Ibrahim Theater at International House Philadelphia, Intercultural Journeys’ newest community partner.
Mr. Shaw will also be a featured artist in Intercultural Journeys’ 2014-2015 season, both as a performer and as a teaching artist. He will perform in the Songs for Peace concert season on November 21, 2014. His performance will include an ensemble of students from Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS). The students’ performance is the culmination of an eight-week residency with the Dialogues in Music program, facilitated by Mr. Shaw, during which he will be working with the entire fifth grade student population at FACTS on the tradition of Capoeira Angola, an Afro-Brazilian movement and music-based martial arts tradition rooted in social justice.
“I am so pleased to join Intercultural Journeys in this capacity. Their mission of promoting peace through the arts complements my own mission as a musician, composer, and educator. I am excited to begin working on the 2015-2016 season, especially educational initiatives tied to the Dialogues in Music program.” Echoing his sentiments Intercultural Journeys Board Chair, Stacy Maria Dutton, said of his appointment, “We are thrilled to have such an accomplished musician and educator joining us at this critical time. Alex’s understanding of the IJ mission is deep, and he will bring a wonderful energy to our future programming.”
About Alex Shaw
Alex Shaw is a percussionist, vocalist, composer, and arts educator specializing in Brazilian music traditions.
Alex is a section leader of Philadelphia's award-winning Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and Director of the renowned Brazilian ensemble, Alô Brasil. In 2010, he joined the music faculty at the University of the Arts as a senior lecturer and will be joining music faculty at Temple University in Spring 2015. Alex has been awarded several competitive artist grants to support his music research and study in Brazil, including Arts International’s Artist Exploration Fund (2004) and the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts (2007). In 2012 he was honored with an Emerging Legacy Award at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Symposium for Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania.
Alex currently serves as member of the Board of Directors of LiveConnections and is a lead facilitator for their music education programming. Since 2008, LiveConnections has created innovative, boundary-crossing music programming and education using the venue of its partner, World Cafe Live, in West Philadelphia. As a freelance arts educator since 2001, Alex regularly teaches, lectures, and performs throughout greater Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey and also works at several universities as a dance accompanist.
Alex earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2000. He and his family live in the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia.