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Arts In Context Shorts: Austin Community Steelpan Band


More than an after-school program, the Austin Community Steelband has created an expressive place to uplift local youth through learning steelpan music. Originating in Trinidad, steelbands served as a way for poor and oppressed people to come together and express themselves through music. Executive Director Paula Beaird and Musical Director Cecil Francis continue manifest the soul of Trinidad by providing a free musical instruction where underprivileged children learn skills like memorization, focus and listening that they can take home and apply to their lives at home and in school. With an emphasis on collaborative and enriching learning, the students have turned it into more than an after-school program. They are now a part of a vibrant, historically-rich musical community that extends beyond the city limits of Austin, Texas.

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