Violinist Ariel Horowitz receives 2018 Alumni Leadership Grant

We seek to positively impact Diné society through empowering youth. Today’s political climate is filled with negative rhetoric and actions towards indigenous people. Our cultural exchange works against this climate through music – a shared language that can foster peace and justice. Ariel Horowitz, 2018 From the Top Alumni Leadership Grant recipient

2018 From the Top Alumni Leadership Grant recipient Ariel Horowitz with students from the 2017 Heartbeat Project

21-year-old violinist Ariel Horowitz founded the Heartbeat Project, which helps fulfill a need for music education in the Navajo (Diné) Nation. Horowitz, who received Alumni Leadership Grant funding in 2017, appeared on NPR’s From the Top in 2012, at the age of 16. Ariel graduated from the Juilliard School in May, and is a current student of Ani Kavafian at the Yale School of Music as a recipient of the Julia Havemeyer Scholarship and Fellowship.

“Ariel was one of our first grant recipients last year,” said Shea Mavros, Director of Education and Community Outreach at From the Top. “With The Heartbeat Project, she has brought together musicians, educators, and community leaders to create a truly transformative educational experience for students in the Diné community. We are very proud to be supporting her work for a second year.” 

About The Heartbeat Project

Founded in 2016, The Heartbeat Project offers a math-infused introduction to classical music presented in a respectful dialogue with traditional Navajo music. Through a 10-day program for K-12 Navajo (Diné) students and adult learners, The Heartbeat Project will explore Diné and classical repertoire. A team of eight teaching artists, along with music-math consultants and counselors, will conduct workshops and concerts at Navajo Technical Institute.

The From the Top Alumni Leadership Grant will support transportation needs for students and teaching artists.

“The kids are enjoying this so much that we’d like to extend the hours and add more stringed-instruments in the future,” said Dr. Wesley Thomas of Navajo Technical University. “The Heartbeat Project has opened a floodgate of what’s possible to do…of the possibilities and potential of music.”

The From the Top Alumni Leadership Grant is funded by the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, with additional support from the Karma for Cara Foundation.

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