Strength & Sensitivity: Boston, an Open Call for Proposals
Seeking musicians, artists, performers, and poets in the greater Boston area! Strength & Sensitivity is a touring, multimedia concert experience that blends percussion music, poetry, and audience interaction to inspire meaningful dialogue exploring themes of contemporary gender dynamics, intersectional feminism, and empathy. Each production is unique, customized to feature the voices and perspectives of local artists within the framework of an evocative and inclusive program. Through a partnership with Kadence Arts, Strength & Sensitivity is coming to Boston in March, to celebrate International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month, and the United Nations’ HeForShe Arts Week.

Deadline for submissions: November 19, 2018 with announcements in mid-Decemeber

Date of event: March 9, 2019

Email address *
Proposal Guidelines
The Strength & Sensitivity team is seeking submissions of either existing works of music/poetry or proposals for new projects to be developed collaboratively, in preparation for the S&S: Boston performance on March 9, 2019. Artists from other disciplines are also welcome to submit work or proposals. Some examples of submissions include:

- Music compositions (solo percussion or small chamber, involving percussion)
- Self-composed music performance pieces
- Original written poetry
- Slam poetry / rap / spoken word pieces
- Visual art pieces

Proposals by artists from historically underrepresented groups are especially welcomed. Artists must be related to the Greater Boston/New England Area.

About Strength & Sensitivity
Strength & Sensitivity debuted in March 2018, with a performance in Ann Arbor, MI as part of the United Nations’ HeForShe Arts Week. The inaugural show featured over 20 artists performing seven world premieres of pieces for music and text, plus free improvisations and existing compositions by powerhouse contemporary composers. The event was presented in solidarity with gender equality advocates worldwide and in partnership with the Michigan chapters of HeForShe and Girl Up!

The curator, Colleen Bernstein, is an award-winning percussionist, arts educator, and creative collaborator recognized for her uniquely passionate performances, adventurous musical spirit, and impactful community engagement initiatives. As an active contemporary solo and chamber musician, she has been featured in performances with GRAMMY-winning artists including Béla Fleck and members of the Silkroad Ensemble, and was the recipient of the Ludwig Albert Talent Award at the 2015 Universal Marimba Competition. Most recently, she was awarded 3rd place in the MalletLab International Competition and 2nd place in the Black Swamp Solo Percussion Showcase. Colleen is a member of the American Wild Ensemble and Creative Leaps International, and also serves as the Director of Community Engagement at the Silkroad Global Musician Workshop. She founded Strength & Sensitivity Concerts in 2018 to further her passion for promoting equity and effecting positive change in communities of all ages and backgrounds.

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The presenter, Kadence Arts, is a Boston-based non-profit organization that incubates artistic projects, curates performances, and engages local communities through music making. Our mission is to unite the community by providing new experiences to support and encourage an appreciation and understanding of how music impacts and enriches our lives. By empowering musicians to break the boundaries of creation, and teaching our community to experiment with self-expression, we’ll create an active ecosystem of art making and learning.

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Selection Process
Submissions will be reviewed by the following panel of artists (more to be announced):

Andrew Stauffer - Program Director at One Bead
Ashleigh Gordon - Artistic and Executive Director of Castle of Our Skins
Colleen Bernstein - Artistic Director of Strength & Sensitivity
Doug Perkins - Associate Professor of Percussion at Boston Conservatory
Hankus Netsky, Co-Chair of the Contemporary Improvisation department at New England Conservatory
Maria Finkelmeier - Founder and Artistic Director of Kadence Arts
Tim Hall - Educator, Artist, Entrepreneur

You will be notified of the results of the Call by the S&S team in early December.

Selected projects will receive a stipend, assessed upon scale of proposal

Please send any questions to Strength & Sensitivity Artistic Director, Colleen Bernstein:

Proposal Application
Name *
Email *
Gender Identity (optional)
Group/Ensemble Name (if applicable)
Website/social media handles *
Artistic Discipline (check all that apply) *
If you selected "other" please describe:
Please describe, in 100 words or less, the artistic project you would like to propose for Strength & Sensitivity: Boston. *
Submit 2-3 samples of previous work that demonstrate your artistic style and voice (required to submit as file or link below)
Use this section to send work samples in the form of links:
Please describe your connection to/interest in the gender equality movement. Why do you support gender equality? How has gender inequality manifested or presented challenges in your life? What message can you send as an artist to catalyze positive community action towards gender equality and more just societies? *
Comment specifically on how your selected work or proposed collaborative project can contribute to and influence dialogue around topics of gender dynamics, social-emotional intelligence, and intersectionality. *
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