Two Local Artists Selected for Third CJP and JArts Creative Fellowship

Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and the Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts) have named two local artists as fellows in the third cohort of the Community Creative Fellowship, established in 2020. Ira Klein from Cambridge, a musician, composer and teacher, and Rachel Linsky from Boston, dancer, educator and choreographer, will be scholarship recipients for the 2022-23 season. Each artist will receive $20,000 in creative arts grants to bring new work to life with a focus on connecting and inspiring communities throughout the process.

CJP and JArts have worked closely together over the years to expand the reach of vibrant Jewish arts and culture in Greater Boston. As part of their ongoing partnership, CJP and JArts developed and launched the Fellowship in Fall 2020 to support Boston-area creatives as they explore Jewish identity and connect with diverse communities through art. workshops. Creators from all artistic media – visual artists, musicians, performers, writers, conductors and others – were invited to apply. Klein and Linsky were selected from 30 applicants.

“Building on the great success of our first two cohorts of scholarships, we are thrilled to support Rachel and Ira, two accomplished artists who will explore new work and serve as a community resource,” said Sophie Krentzman, Director of Arts and the culture of the CJP. “As more and more people explore Jewish art and culture for new perspectives, we believe the arts have a unique ability to educate, excite and spread the richness of Jewish culture to all. In the multicultural world today, art is a powerful tool for connecting diverse communities.

Laura Mandel, Executive Director of JArts, added: “We created the Fellowship to foster and support the creation of new work that reflects the artists’ own Jewish exploration, and to create dialogues that engage the wider Boston community in the artistic process and broaden appreciation. of Jewish culture. All of our alumni created wonderful final works that were greatly informed by the community workshops they conducted. »

Rachel Linsky (courtesy photo)

Rachel Linsky is a Boston-based contemporary dance artist. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and a BA in Arts Administration from Elon University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Rachel directs and choreographs “ZACHOR”, an ongoing series of projects that seeks to preserve the words of WWII Holocaust survivors through dance.

Rachel’s choreography has been featured in national and international dance festivals such as Earl Mosely’s Diversity of Dance “Dance is Activism Film Festival”, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Prague International Film Festival and many more. His work has been funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts, the City of Boston, the Russell J. Efros Foundation, the CJP, and the Beker Foundation. Rachel has been artist-in-residence at the Boston Center for the Arts as part of their new Dance Maker’s Laboratory program and at Chelsea Theater Works.

Rachel was recently commissioned by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and JArts to choreograph new work for their 2021 Hanukkah celebration. Rachel is currently a dancer with KAIROS Dance Theater and The Click Boston. She is on the teaching faculty of Koltun Ballet Boston, Broadway Bound Dance Center and Urbanity Dance.

Ira Klein is an award-winning guitarist, composer and producer from Jerusalem, Israel, and is currently based in Boston. He aspires to create deeply rooted, fresh and idiosyncratic contemporary music. Inspired by his fascination with several folk musical traditions (mainly Ladino and American roots music), as well as his background in jazz and rock, he takes a mixed musical approach to creating his sound. He believes that when old songs meet a modern interpretive approach, the creative possibilities are limitless.

He teaches at Berklee College of Music, Cambridge Music Consortium, Club Passim School of Music and Concord Conservatory of Music. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music summa cum laude in 2020 from Berklee and is currently pursuing a Masters at Longy Conservatory of Bard College, Cambridge. He has performed many times, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, MIT, Smith Center and Holden Chapel, Harvard University, Hillel University, Boston , the Longfellow House Museum and Mount Auburn Cemetery.

The fellowship begins this month and will run through May 2023. Both artists will be matched with mentors throughout the fellowship and are expected to work with a variety of groups including schools, senior living facilities, synagogue community centers and other organizations. the course of their appointment. A central component of the fellowship will be a capstone project that each fellow will develop based on their areas of specialty and inspired by their engagement with the community.

“Arts and culture can deeply connect us to Jewishness and to each other,” Krentzman said. “They bring us into deep and thought-provoking conversations and illuminate and preserve Jewish experience and memory. Allowing artists to explore their own creative process more deeply and produce new work also helps expand and share Jewish culture with the wider community.

Musician Yoni Battat, Creative Fellow 2020-2021, has just released his first album, “Fragments”, created during his fellowship. The work is based on his discovery of his family background as a Middle Eastern Jew and is largely informed by the workshops he held over the course of a year. Workshop participants helped explore the themes of his music and are included as a chorus in parts of the recording. Battat wrote, “Through the Community Creative Fellowship…the Boston Jewish community has prioritized the creative arts as a vital avenue of connection to our Jewish identities. I know this investment will continue to expand modern Jewish expression to be more inclusive, rich and diverse.

If you would like Fellows to meet your organization or group, please contact Jaime Brody, Director of JArts Collaborations, at [email protected]

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