From May 4 to 8, Mitrovica Rock School Ambassador Band the Artchitects visited New York City at the invitation of Pop2Life, and experiential marketing and music agency. Originally, the invitation had been for the band to perform at Pop2Life’s the Grid festival alongside a presentation by MwB director Laura Hassler. When the festival was cancelled, Pop2Life honored the invitation, setting up meetings for the band with artists and music industry experts.
On their first day in New York, the band visited the offices of Pop2Life, where MwB’s program manager gave a presentation on the Mitrovica Rock School and the band connected with Pop2Life staff and artist Sam King. Pop2Life offered to cover the costs and hours of any of its staff who wanted to volunteer for the program – an amazing offer from an amazing organization!
Visit to CUNY
On the second day, the Artchitects visited the Graduate Center of the City University of New York – CUNY – where they met with Jane Sugarman, professor in ethnomusicology specializing in Central Europe, and two of her PhD students. Professor Sugarman has worked extensively in Kosovo, knows a number of (former) Rock School teachers, and was well aware of the Rock School program.
Moving over for the next generation
The Artchitects were the first ethnically mixed band of the Mitrovica Rock School. All current members now work as teachers at the school. Following this visit and a final concert one week after their return to Kosovo, the band decided to make space for the next generation of mixed bands, whom they will continue to coach.
A huge thanks to Pop2Life from all of us at Musicians without Borders and the Mitrovica Rock School for this amazing experience!