Curtis recently celebrated its first Community Day on September 29, a student activities day organized by staff and faculty to celebrate the diversity and history of the Curtis community. The day centered around the themes of community, identity, and celebration and included talks about the founding of Curtis, a tribute to Curtis stalwart Eleanor Sokoloff, and alumni remembrances of Curtis past. Current students participated in small-group breakout sessions to process their connections to these themes and remembrances in light of their experiences of Curtis in the present. In between these two large-group video conference meetings, students had time to explore the themes on their own using resources provided on a library guide (https://libguides.curtis.edu/communityday).
If you couldn’t attend or would like to continue exploring some of the resources, see the guide. Some of the resources are organized according to the themes of community, identity, and celebration. The community section includes reports from the Community Artists Program of Curtis students’ work with Philadelphia organizations outside Curtis. The identity section includes exercises to explore your own personal origin story as well as a sociological test on implicit bias.
The second page (https://libguides.curtis.edu/c.php?g=1081896&p=7893232) provides resources to further explore community and identity with a focus on social justice struggles, including information about Philadelphia past and present and quantitative information about social groups and issues like redlining in Philadelphia and beyond. It also links to some information about social justice struggles worldwide.
Another section offers ways to delve further into the discussion of vocabulary and terminology hosted by Dr. Jeanne McGinn and Yvonne Fulmore. In addition to glossaries of terms used in racial justice and other identity struggles, it also links to several electronic resources in the Curtis Library for more reading. These include useful collections of keywords in various area studies like American Cultural Studies, African American Studies, and Disability Studies. These entries tend to be more in-depth than glossaries intended for very broad audiences and read like academic writing, often surveying the research in a particular area. These can be very useful for understanding the history of both a term and an idea, such as “racism” or “queer.” The guide also offers tips for searching academic databases for more information on identity, social justice, and community.
The guide also links to resources for more Curtis history. The Curtis Institute of Music Open Archives and Recitals (CIMOAR https://cimoar.curtis.edu/) is a digital repository maintained by librarians and archivists at Curtis and features digitized versions of photos, documents, sheet music, audio and video. Here a current student might find a recording of their own recitals right alongside recitals by Curtis alum from the past, or photos of their teacher’s teacher in their studio or performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra. This is a new resource at Curtis, and new items are added continually. The section also includes links to Curtis course catalogs (https://archive.org/details/curtisinstituteofmusic?sort=titleSorter&and%5b%5d=firstTitle:C) from the past, a trove of information about Curtis’s early years.
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