Palmer Award Finalist: Annika Kulkarni

We received so many wonderful applications for this year’s Palmer Award, we wanted to share the work of those who were among our finalists. Today we learn about Annika Kulkarni, Institute graduate from the University of Illinois.

“My vision was to provide more opportunities for diversity within music. As someone who studies music, I’ve realized that a large part of the profession and curriculum is centered around Western history and culture. By promoting music of different backgrounds and cultures, not only can we aim to be more well-rounded musicians and listeners, but we also become part of a wholesome society that accepts peoples of all backgrounds and promotes diversity.” – Annika Kulkarni

As Annika worked to get closer to her goals, she found that not only brought exposure to music beyond the Western culture, she also saw a sense of community develop. Some of the steps that Annika has taken towards her vision include:

  • organized student concerts to promote cultural music and artistic talent (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth)
  • joined Crescendo, a musical organization that aims to support underrepresented minorities within music and to provide volunteer and service opportunities to promote diversity and inclusion
  • through Crescendo we went to the local elementary school to educate children about different art forms from different cultures and what kind of instruments they used
  • donated money from a back sale to a local theater nearby the promotes arts education

Annika’s vision has influenced her academics as well – as a part of her senior thesis. She is eager to help provide fine arts students with access to leadership workshops and experiences that will help them consider what it means to be an artistic leader and to discover the role of diversity and inclusion in their fields of study.

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