Introduction to Kithara Project
Kithara Project (www.kitharaproject.org
) is a nonprofit organization that improves the lives and opportunities of children and young people in the US and Mexico through the classical guitar. It currently maintains programs in Boston, Albuquerque, and Mexico City, offering its students tuition free group and individual classes, music theory, guest artist performances and workshops, and performance opportunities -- in short, a comprehensive music education. Our programs are also platforms for cultural exchange: students are pen pals and will soon meet to form the core of an international youth guitar orchestra.Kithara Project Mexico City
Kithara Project's Mexico City Program is based in a community called Yuguelito, in the famously marginalized "delegation" -- borough -- of Iztapalapa. Yuguelito, which lacks many basic municipal services, faces tremendous socioeconomic and environmental challenges. Despite these challenges, the community has rallied behind a music program, which among other things acts as a powerful barrier between young people and the dangers of the street.
Kithara Project has now operated for four years in Yuguelito, and with the enthusiastic support of the community leadership, we have committed to building a music school to replace the improvised teaching space we've depended on for so long. A renowned local architecture studio has also already drawn plans, pro bono. A building like this will provide an incalculable boost for students here and for the cause of music in Yuguelito and beyond. Check out this short video before reading more about the project, below!
To begin the design, students (pictured below) were supplied with paper and colored pencils before being asked to draw their own, ideal, music schools. Ultimately, the final design incorporated details from each student's drawing.
The project is destined for a relatively small plot of 9 x 9 meters (870 square feet), next to the community library. The building, which is two stories, will contain practice, teaching, storage, and performance spaces -- the latter connected to the street by a "portico," designed at once as a way of attracting the street into the more private areas of the building and acting as a sort of "speaker" into the community. This portico will be covered in plants.
Importantly, the plans to the building include a rainwater capture system and cisterns. Mexico City is in the midst of a severe water crisis, and Yuguelito, which lacks running water, lies in the middle of one of the most affected areas of the city. Maintenance of that system, including the collection, bottling, and sale of water harvested, will be delegated to the students of Kithara Project. In addition to deepening students' connection to their own music school, this will provide them with a small earned income, as well as familiarize them with the idea of environmental sustainability.
Our goal of $40,000 includes materials and construction costs, furnishing the building after construction, and provides for maintenance and some program support. All donations $1,000 and over will be recognized on a plaque on the wall of the new building.
Please join us in making this project a reality!