First Tuesday Sessions
Experience, Expertise & Advice

This free series, led by experts in the field, consists of eight sessions held at CMA’s offices in New York City and streamed online.

Sessions are presented the first Tuesday of the month (October–June) unless otherwise noted. Space is limited; RSVP is required to attend in person.

A video of each session is posted online following the initial presentation.


Kaori Fujii

Kaori Fujii

December 6, 3PM
Social Action Through Music
Kaori Fujii, Music Beyond

What is the artist’s role in society at large? How can music foster positive change in our local communities, and in the wider world? Kaori Fujii, founder & president of Music Beyond, will offer a practical framework for integrating art and social action. She’ll discuss where to begin, when to seek advice, how to develop your personal narrative and mission, and different methods for supporting your goals—including fundraising, sponsorship, and community partners.

Flutist Kaori Fujii is the founder and president of Music Beyond, Inc., a nonprofit organization that trains and empowers musicians to become music teachers in developing countries. Born in Tokyo and currently residing in New York, Fujii has performed, toured, and recorded with renowned artists and orchestras worldwide, and appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Teresa Carreno Theater, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, and Suntory Hall. She has released eight albums and was the youngest-ever prize-winner at Japan's three largest music competitions.



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Jennifer Wright Cook

November 1, 3PM
Embracing Risk: Next Steps for Mid-Career Artists
Jennifer Wright Cook, The Field

Being open to risk and failure is vital to creativity, but personal, professional, financial, and institutional barriers often stand in the way. How can we as artists build up our capacity for risk? And how can funders, presenters, and arts administrators better support creative risk-taking? Jennifer Wright Cook, executive director of The Field, will share key insights drawn from new research on mid-career artists of all disciplines.

Since 2007, Jennifer Wright Cook has served as executive director of The Field, an organization dedicated to providing strategic services to performing and media artists and companies in New York City and beyond. In 2008, she launched Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA), an innovative mentorship program with multi-year funding from The Rockefeller Foundation. Her work has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Backstage, WNYC Public Radio, and by participation on adjudication panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and Dance Theater Workshop.


Sami Abu Shumays

Sami Abu Shumays

October 4, 3PM

Community-Centered Programming

Sami Abu Shumays, Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall excels at serving the extremely diverse communities of its home borough of Queens, NY. Sami Abu Shumays, deputy director of FTH and music director of the Arab music ensemble Zikrayat, will share strategies for expanding audiences and bridging cultural divides from the perspective of both presenter and artist. He’ll also discuss how FTH and Zikrayat plan educational offerings designed to draw in audiences unfamiliar with their music programming.

Vocalist, violinist, educator, and arts administrator Sami Abu Shumays founded the Arab music ensemble Zikrayat in 2005. Since 2012, he has served as deputy director of Flushing Town Hall, where he has advocated for cultural equity and for increased support to immigrant arts. A specialist in the traditional music of Egypt and Syria, Shumays has led workshops throughout the U.S. on Arabic music and published scholarly work on maqam.

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