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Spring Newsletter

Students at a dress rehearsal for their Walker West Without Walls Initiative Music & Me performance at Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary. For 6 weeks Walker|West teaching artist Chadwick Phillips worked with these talented students on the art of Hip-Hop and Poetry on Thursday mornings.

Building a bold future

While it seems that spring is fading quickly, at Walker|West, we’re just getting warmed up! As we look ahead into the next big phase for our organization, the power of music gives us more than enough room to gather, and grow with intention. Continue reading as we explore the strong community and funding partnerships that propel our work. 

Can you help us tell the MN Legislature about Walker|West?

Walker|West could receive up to $5.4M through a one time appropriation bill (HF 4197) to use as a capital investment for our new facility. Securing funding for a new site is the cornerstone of our current capital campaign. The bill is likely to be voted on by May 23, 2022. We could use your support to let the MN Legislature know about the power of music and the Walker|West mission.

Here’s what you can do:

Calling your local legislators is always a great start, however, there’s a handful of legislators we think may not already know about our work. We want to make sure they hear about how our 34 year-old, culturally rooted and responsive community music school is doing the work. Creating space for K-12 students and everyone to gather, explore, and grow through music.

When you have a moment give them a call and tell them why you support Walker|West!

MN House

MN Senate

Here’s why Walker|West is a great candidate for this capital investment

With our strategic direction and capital campaign, we’re committed to youth music education access and building more community centered space for wider and deeper connection. As a Regional Cultural Treasure, we are engaging students and families close by (with lessons, and school residencies), around the nation and even internationally (with virtual instruction, concerts, and other community partnerships)! 

We have the experience, expertise, and enthusiasm to continue bringing the benefits of music education to K-12 students and students of all ages –from infants to elders.

Anthony Green at Walker|West

On April 10th, Walker|West had the pleasure of welcoming composer, performer, and social justice artist, Anthony R. Green for a very special discussion/Q & A in the performance hall. ⁣

Mr. Green played piano, sang, and engaged in a wide-ranging discussion on everything from copyright law to the struggle of finding places to do laundry while on the road. ⁣Mr. Green spoke in depth about the creation of the special piece played by our Kamoinge String Ensemble with Artaria String Quartet this past February. He also shared a bit about the process of composing over 200 other original compositions. 

Thank you to Anthony R. Green for sharing your beautiful music, thoughtful responses to our many questions, good humor and words of encouragement! We hope you visit again soon.⁣

Recently The Minnesota Humanities Center awarded the Walker|West Amazing Grace Chorus with a Cultural Heritage and Community Identity Grant in the amount of $145,000.⁣ ⁣Thank you to MHC for supporting this wonderful program. Pictured: Amazing Grace Chorus Directors – Shana Moses (left), Rev. Carl Clomon (center), and Gale Cannon (right).

Funding Partners this Spring

Here’s a look at some of the major support we received this quarter:

  • 3M (Operating)
  • Best Buy Foundation (Operating)
  • Elmer & Eleanor Anderson (Operating)
  • Mardag Foundation (Operating)
  • Minnesota Humanities Center (Amazing Grace Chorus)
  • Star Tribune/MPR Connect Grant (Marketing Support)
  • Stevens Family (Capital Campaign)
  • U.S. Bank Foundation (Operating)

Special thank you to the Stevens Family! With an exciting lead gift of $250,000 for the Walker|West Capital campaign, the entire Stevens family wants more people to know about the impact of our community music school. With 3 generations of family members involved with Walker|West since our early years, their commitment to our mission serves as a testament to how music brings us all together.

To make a major gift, or to learn more about how to participate in our capital campaign contact: Braxton Haulcy, Executive Director (

Follow us on social media, and sign up to be on our mailing list for regular updates on our programs, performances, students, and teaching/performing artists.

Read all about it! Walker|West In The News:

Walker West growing beyond music | Star Tribune:

Walker West Music Academy outgrows Selby Ave. site | MyVillager :

“Bravo Walker|West”: Special thanks to Bill Caitlin, long-time friend of Walker|West for his words in support of our work in Reader’s Write | Star Tribune:

Photo: Tom Dunn Photography, MinnPost

Ta-Coumba T. Aiken wins Guggenheim One of the best things about being rooted in the historic Rondo community is the connections we have with prolific creators like Ta-Coumba T. Aiken. When we moved to our facility at 760 Selby an original piece of art from Ta-Coumba was commissioned and can be seen adorning the outside of our space today. We’re so proud to be connected with this local artist, and even more proud of the well-deserved recognition he’s received with this award.

Read more about this outstanding accomplishment here:

No place like home: recitals at 760 Selby Ave

Over the past year we’ve slowly eased our way back to in-person student recitals thanks to Lutheran Church of the Redeemer a few blocks away on Dale Street. By allowing use of their beautiful and spacious sanctuary, we’ve been able to come together and celebrate the hard work of our students and teaching artists, free of those often pesky Zoom glitches, and the occasional younger sibling photobombing in the background. ⁣

April 4th was extra special, as we came together in Walker|West’s very own performance hall at our home base on 760 Selby Avenue for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

⁣The recital featured students of Walker|West teaching artists, Jack Barrett, Andrew Griffin, Franco Holder, Felix James, Elisha Phillip and Pieter Swart, (who brought along one of the newest little members of the Walker|West community to work). ⁣

Excellent work students and teachers!⁣

Certificate in Music Production Program – Hamline Partnership

Here at Walker|West we continue to expand and adapt to a changing musical landscape. Our Digital Music Production program is now partnered with Hamline University for an out-of-school time program which sets the stage for continuing professional development after high school.

At the college level, the Certificate in Music Production offered at Hamline is a 12-credit, 6-course curriculum, with three courses offered each fall and spring. Jeff Bailey, Hamline faculty member, program director and Walker|West board member, will work with high school students 1 day per week throughout the school year.

Currently, students who are at least a junior in high school up to the age of 21 can participate. High school students with a solid GPA will even receive transcript credit for their work. 

This program is meant for those looking to pursue a career in digital music production (DMP). It’s an immersive experience that has several career pathways to include Music Creator, Theater Sound Design, TV Commercials or Jingle Writer and more. With the partnership, you have an opportunity to build a career that can take you down a multitude of musical paths and cultivate new opportunities for those looking to break into the music business.

For more information about this special program or about Digital Music Production at Walker|West please contact Student Services:

Support Walker|West Music Academy

We’re sustaining music education access and programming with your help and your future contributions give us new opportunities to amplify our mission! Thank you for your continued investment in the healing power and the necessity of music.

Thank you for your continued support of Walker|West