Music Faculty Receive 2022 Artists 360 Awards

Tomoko Kashiwagi, left, and Er-Gene Kahng.
Courtesy of Artists 360

Tomoko Kashiwagi, left, and Er-Gene Kahng.

Two members of the Department of Music faculty  Tomoko Kashiwagi and Er-Gene Kahng – are among several U of A students, faculty and alumni to be awarded a grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance for the 2022 Artists 360 Awards.

Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines in the greater Northwest Arkansas area.

Grants include learning opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and build sustainable careers, creating a network of leading regional artists.

Tomoko Kashiwagi, an associate professor of piano and collaborative piano, received a $15,000 Community Activator Grant for her project, the Chamber Music Society of Northwest Arkansas, which brings people of all ages and musical backgrounds together to experience chamber music. 

The Chamber Music Society of Northwest Arkansas will also foster a healthy community for local professionals to connect, grow and provide opportunities to perform alongside world-class guest artists. Additionally, its educational program, Chamber Music Academy, will offer coaching sessions for young and adult amateur musicians to enhance their musical ability and have life-changing experiences through music.

Kashiwagi joined the U of A faculty in 2012 and serves as the artistic director of Chamber Music on the Mountain, creating imaginative concert programs that instigates cross-fertilization with various art forms, performing in casual venues to make chamber music accessible for more people.

She describes herself as a believer of lifelong learning, embracer of growth and beneficiary of the inspirations provided by the dynamic people in her life. She finds great pleasure in playing diverse repertoire she encounters as a performer and an educator.

Er-Gene Kahng, a professor of violin, was named an Artists 360 Project Grant recipient, receiving a $7,500 grant to help fund her work on "Together, Here" a collaborative performance piece. The piece also involves live electro-acoustic music and cultural partner dance, exploring how memory, identity and the surprises that life tosses us inform our efforts to build a home for ourselves and our loved ones.

Pre-recorded individual accounts from members of the Northwest Arkansas community will be the centerpiece of the performance piece, creating a communal autobiography and a tribute to and proposal for a renewed sense of unity.

Kahng's work came to light through her advocacy of African American, Arkansan composer, Florence Price. Her recordings of Price's violin concertos has been nationally and internationally cited as an important contribution to American classical music.

Kahng is concertmaster of the Fort Smith Symphony and the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, and has previously been involved with Albany, Lancaster, Eastern Connecticut and Baton Rouge symphonies. She is also co-artistic director of the Pierrot+ ensemble, Khemia, and president of the Asian Pacific Americans Impact Group at the U of A.


Britt Graves, administrative specialist III
Department of Music


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