Community Engagement Projects

Providing high-quality and meaningful community engagement, both in schools and for young professionals, is a core part of DCWS’ mission. Over 36 years, our commitment has expanded to impact children as young as five all the way through college. In schools and on the concert stage, young people benefit from our artists’ expertise and our audiences’ enthusiasm every season.


Titled Perseverance of the Human Spirit,” this project is a collaborative effort between Temple Emanu-El, St. John Armenian Church, and Hartford Memorial Baptist Church. Each congregation will rely on its talent and leadership to share the stories and artistic outputs created by its community. Additional collaborators include the Detroit Opera Resident Artists, thZekelman Holocaust Center, as well as subject-matter experts from the Western Wayne County NAACP, the Detroit Center for Civil Discourse and the University of Michigan.


Resonate is a multi-year collaboration that explores the African Diaspora through the lens of contemporary American chamber music. The project, under the direction of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and the Carr Center, has commissioned seven American composers to create new works to be performed by each of the collaborators during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.


Established in 2016, Community heART utilizes the arts to strengthen the Highland Park community. CAHP aims to support and develop collaborative activities through promoting the city’s existing vibrant cultural assets and providing residents with access to resources. During the pandemic, CAHP has continued to engage the community through its re-granting program, drive-in events, WHPR radio broadcasts and more. The program is supported by a generous grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.

Bremen Town Musicians takes the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale and brings it to life in a narrated sing-along story with call-and-response and Q & A. Pre-K through second-grade students participate in a scripted story that utilizes five of our artists. Classical tunes are played alongside familiar children’s songs to capture the spirit of the donkey, cat, dog and rooster who set out on a journey to become musicians.

Musical Elements teaches several aspects of classical chamber music using hip hop as an educational mediumMusical Elements was introduced in our 2021-2022 season and will be presented at public schools in Wayne and Oakland counties in 2022-2023. The program was commissioned by DCWS and composed by Southfield based composer and educator Kris Johnson. Musical Elements teaches several aspects of classical chamber music using hip hop as an educational medium. Students in grades K-5 learn about the woodwind, brass, and string instruments as well as the musical elements of melody, harmony, unison, articulation and tempos. The presentation is a combination of a scripted lesson, slideshow, and musical performances involving DCWS players and a hip hop artist. 

In Science & Sound, third-grade students get a first-hand look at how pitch, frequency, vibrations and wavelengths are produced by musical instruments. Four artists weave a step-by-step process where students touch the instruments, experiment and build their own instruments out of recycled goods.

DCWS annually sponsors a young composer-in-residence and young ensemble-in-residence in collaboration with the University of Michigan and Oberlin Conservatory. Each year, one school provides DCWS with a young composer while the other provides a young ensemble. The composer typically writes a work that the ensemble premieres for a DCWS audience. DCWS is proud to promote the future of chamber music by hosting these young artists in performance and professional development opportunities as they build their careers.

Want to learn more or bring these programs to your school? Contact Jainelle Robinson, Community Engagement Officer, at robinson@art-ops.org or at 248-559-2095.

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