The INTAKE Organization is a Stamford-based nonprofit arts organization that promotes music education through multiculturalism and native instruments. Founded in 2011 by Angelica Durrell, INTAKE envisions a new cultural and musical world where future generations of concert audiences truly reflect our society and are able to experience classical music in its traditional form, as well as through the “voices” of their own and of other cultures.

In partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Stamford, among others, the INTAKE Native Instrument Academy teaches students to perform and appreciate classical music through the use of native instruments. The program is aimed to provide extracurricular and summer support to their academic program and to encourage students to become leaders in their community. It introduces the students to classical music performed on culturally native instruments from Peru and Guatemalan regions, reflecting the city’s largest cross-cultural demographics.

In addition, INTAKE is working with the families of these students to promote cross-cultural understanding and to help integrate them into the fabric of our local community. The Unitarian Universalist Association Social Responsibility Challenge Grant of $5,000 will help us to sponsor a one-week Summer Music Festival Camp, which will include music lessons and field trips to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Ferguson Library, Government Center and other places that will open up new horizons for these students and their families.

Since we began our partnership with INTAKE, members of our congregation have appeared at a city funding hearing, mentored students, helped with an internship placement, which has led to a job offer, and extended an invitation to join a Brownie troop that meets in the Sanctuary and is led by one of our members. To quote Rev. Frances Sink, “This project has already strengthened our own social responsibility outreach and involvement in the local community.”