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This page the showcases unique musical and community centered projects initiated by UW Faculty, students, and organizations in the greater Seattle Community. This includes not only the UW Ethnomusicology but also other departments like the GWSS, UW Dance Department, and UW School of Social Work.

Music Alive! in the Yakama Valley

Begun 20 years ago as a musical exchange program with students in the public schools of Toppenish and Harrah, Washington, Music Alive! In the Yakima Valley (MAYV) is an active collaboration with the Yakama Nation Tribal School (YNTS), intended to support the expressive-creative musical voice of indigenous youth. 

Seattle Fandango Project

Through a series of integrated activities—community workshops, performances, graduate seminars, artist residencies, and more—the Seattle Fandango Project has explored new possibilities for the arts as community practice at the University of Washington. The Seattle Fandango Project takes as its original model the fandango celebration of Veracruz, Mexico, in which music, singing, and dancing are used to generate a spirit of convivencia—living/being together—that helps build communication and trust. SFP draws on a transnational network of fandango groups to forge relationships between diverse institutions, communities, and individuals in Washington State and beyond. 

The Womxn Who Rock Community Research Project is developed through collaborations between UW faculty, graduate students, community members and scholars of gender, race and sexuality in music and social justice movements.

American Sabor

Evoking the pleasures of music as well as food, the word sabor signifies a rich essence that makes our mouths water or makes our bodies want to move. American Sabor traces the substantial musical contributions of Latinas and Latinos in American popular music between World War II and the present in five vibrant centers of Latin@ musical production: New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Miami. From Tito Puente’s mambo dance rhythms to the Spanglish rap of Mellow Man Ace, American Sabor focuses on musical styles that have developed largely in the United States—including jazz, rhythm and blues, rock, punk, hip hop, country, Tejano, and salsa—but also shows the many ways in which Latin@ musicians and styles connect US culture to the culture of the broader Americas.

With side-by-side Spanish and English text, authors Marisol Berríos-Miranda, Shannon Dudley, and Michelle Habell-Pallán challenge the white and black racial framework that structures most narratives of popular music in the United States. They present the regional histories of Latin@ communities—including Chicanos, Tejanos, and Puerto Ricans—in distinctive detail, and highlight the shared experiences of immigration/migration, racial boundary crossing, contesting gender roles, youth innovation, and articulating an American experience through music. In celebrating the musical contributions of Latinos and Latinas, American Sabor illuminates a cultural legacy that enriches us all.

Sound Stories was part of an exhibition developed by University of Washington scholars and the Experience Music Project (now MoPop). From 2008 to 2015 the exhibit, in its original form and in a modified version created the the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), traveled to 18 cities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

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