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Springwells Village
Detroit, MI 48209

Youth Keep Mariachi Alive in Southwest Detroit


Youth Keep Mariachi Alive in Southwest Detroit

Mallika Roy

Contributed by Aaron Barndollar, Director, COMPÁS

Mariachi Juvenil Detroit

The Center of Music and Performing Arts Southwest (COMPÁS) was recently named one of 56 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit winners through a highly competitive process involving over 1400 total applicants. Our project, Mariachi COMPÁS, will support and expand a youth mariachi ensemble, creating an important outlet for youth in the community to explore music, culture and entrepreneurship as professional musicians. Winning the Arts Challenge also brought a matching grant of $35,000 over two years, meaning the we will have to raise an equal amount to receive the full award.

We are looking to the community for support. Through December 15, you can contribute to our online fundraising campaign through Indiegogo. The matching grant means that each dollar donated will be doubled, so there's no better time to give and help some young aspiring musicians achieve their dreams. We will use the funds to recruit new students, purchase needed instruments and uniforms as the group grows, and provide quality music instruction. 

The ensemble, Mariachi Juvenil Detroit (MJD), will use their performances across metro Detroit to teach Mexican culture through music and provide subsidized performances for community events.  The project will also provide a much-needed outlet for youth who will have a better chance of success in school and in life if they remain engaged in opportunities to stimulate their creativity and individuality. MJD will also incorporate songs from other Latin American and Caribbean countries to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of our Latino community. Supporting this project is an investment in the historical and cultural heritage of Southwest Detroit, ensuring that our cherished arts and cultural traditions are carried on through our youth.