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Providing more than 5,000 hours annually of professional development, TATI equips Teaching Artists with the tools and skills necessary to strengthen their teaching practice and be better prepared to support the more than 20,000 underrepresented students and communities they work with across the country.
The Teaching Artists Training Institute believes that transformational music education starts with transformational training for music teachers.
Founded by a generous grant from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Teaching Artists Training Institute (TATI) was launched in 2020. In just three years, TATI has engaged more than 230 Teaching Artists across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada through virtual programming and in-person Regional Conferences. TATI is powered by Miami Music Project, which provides legal and fiduciary oversight, financial management, and administrative support.
Anna Klimala, Co-Founder
Anna Klimala is one of the co-founders of the Teaching Artists Training Institute, alongside Mike Angell, Stanford Thompson, and Seth Truby. What started with a simple quest to partner up for the benefit of the field and the children served, turned into a realization of the great potential of bringing together leaders from various El Sistema-inspired programs. The pilot of the program kicked off in August 2020, identifying common challenges and needs, exploring best practices and optimal strategies, and creating a unified approach to ensemble-based music learning experience leading to increased student success.
Anna is an arts executive, music educator, activist, and double-bassist whose mission is to re-establish music’s central place in the development and education of all young people. As Executive Director of Miami Music Project, she oversees the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission, long-range strategy, financial objectives, and operations. Her strong pedagogical background helps her guide Miami Music Project through its exciting growth and implementation of innovative El Sistema-inspired programming, of which she was the initiator.
Anna’s introduction to music began at age 6 when her grandfather, a wood artisan, received a piano as payment for his service. Eventually, she recognized that playing music is a skill beneficial to everyone, but is not easily accessible. This encouraged Anna to pursue a career inspired by her passion for music education and its transformative abilities. She believes music should not only be a right to children, but also a reality.
Anna earned her Master’s degree in Music Education from the Szymanowski Academy of Music in her native Poland, and a Graduate Certificate in Double Bass Performance from the University of Southern California. Additionally, she trained at leadership and executive education programs, including at Columbia Business School (through Miami Foundation’s Miami Leaders Award) and Harvard Business School (through a full scholarship from the HBS Club of South Florida).
Through Anna’s leadership, Miami Music Project has amassed a wide array of achievements, including a special proclamation from Miami-Dade County Public Schools honoring Miami Music Project as a provider of “relevant, rigorous and innovative academics.” Miami Music Project has also received the Superintendent’s Choice Award, the highest honor given to community-based organizations by the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce also named Miami Music Project as 1 of the 3 finalists for the 2018 NOVO awards recognizing nonprofit innovative excellence.
As a strong proponent of giving back, Anna co-founded and directs the annual Summer Trombone Festival in Poland, serves as a Board Member and Treasurer of El Sistema USA (A National Alliance of El Sistema-inspired Programs), and regularly contributes as a grants panelist for various organizations in Florida, including Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Division of Cultural Affairs for the State of Florida, the Knight Foundation, and The Miami Foundation. Additionally, Anna has presented in several conferences, including the Take A Stand Symposium, an annual gathering of arts professionals from various El Sistema-inspired programs, and the National El Sistema USA Symposium.
Proud of her journey of contributing to the community, Anna has broken barriers as an immigrant and a woman in a leadership role. Anna’s most rewarding aspect of her work in Miami Music Project is seeing the transformation in students who become accomplished and contributing individuals in society. When she is not making a difference in the lives of children, Anna enjoys baking and practicing yoga.
Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Equity Arc, and founder and former Executive Director of Play On Philly. Recognized as a TED Fellow, Stanford believes that music education is a powerful tool for positive personal and community change.
Mr. Thompson serves on the faculty of the Global Leaders Program and regularly presents at major universities and music conservatories about leadership, entrepreneurship and social justice. As a consultant, he has guided the development of dozens of music programs across the United States and collaborated with major orchestras, higher education institutions, and arts organizations to develop new strategies and initiatives that help provide equitable access to the arts. As a professional trumpeter, Stanford has performed as a soloist and member with major orchestras around the world and continues to perform throughout the Philadelphia region.
Stanford is a native of Atlanta, GA, a graduate of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program and holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory’s Sistema Fellows Program.
Seth grew up in a large family in Durham, North Carolina, playing sandlot football on the “wrong side of the tracks” and playing violin and piano on the other side of the tracks. After winning a scholarship to study violin at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Seth toured the capitals of Europe with an elite orchestra before attending Oberlin College and Conservatory as a National Merit Scholar. He was employed as a social worker and carpenter before embarking on a ten year career as a professional violin maker.
Seth was a founder and fundraising chair of the Portland Village School, now the city’s largest public charter school, and he was Director of Development and Community Engagement at Chamber Music Northwest. He and his wife Angela, a midwife, have two daughters, and they all enjoy camping, home repair projects, and making music as a family.
Seth’s time as the Executive Director of BRAVO Youth Orchestras joyfully brought together many threads in his life and demonstrates his belief that the beauty of music should be accessible to all. Seth Truby currently serves as the Executive Director of LEAP Wilderness Programs.