Since even before the Spizzwinks(?) were incorporated as a 501(c)3, we’ve been dedicated to the promotion of group harmony singing, with a particular emphasis on educating others about our style of music and on partnering with other non-profit organizations to foster continuing interest in and support for music and the arts more broadly.
Fundamental to this mission is engaging with others in our communities. Today, the ‘Winks robust performance and teaching schedule includes a broad array of community-based programming at the local, domestic and international level; these masterclasses, workshops, collaborations, cultural exchanges and music education programs constitute a central pillar of the ‘Wink experience.
In New Haven
The foundation of our community-based programming resides in the foundation of our college community: New Haven. Since Yale came to New Haven in 1716, the University and the city have each had profound roles in shaping the other, and we are fortunate for the opportunity to tap into the vibrant arts scene of the city.
Since the early 2000’s, the ‘Winks developed and maintained relationships with artists, educators and community organizations in New Haven. What started as a series of masterclasses at local schools has expanded to include artists of all ages, from religious music to electronic R&B groups. The ‘Winks have offered music education programs at city high schools, joint concerts with local performers, and have recently produced and released a collab album.
Much of our domestic travel is motivated by a key aspect of our Spizzwinks(?) Promise: that we will visit each members’ hometown and sing for friends and family. Yet, while some aspects of these hometown visits are generally consistent, often affording our members the chance to sing at their high schools, religious centers, or homes, the mandate to develop and implement their own community-based programming, asks each ‘Wink to explore a familiar place, their home, in a brand new way.
Often developed in partnership with local community centers, schools or not-for-profits, these partnerships help us get a more complete picture of a ‘Winks’ Hometown, and offer us an opportunity to give back to and learn from the communities which are generous enough to host us. Around the country, united by a love of music, ‘Winks strive to build community with Americans from every walk of life.
Our international partnership efforts broaden this community building to a global stage. Developed by our summer tour team, each summer tour features a distinct initiative designed to promote music and friendship through the universal language of music. This opportunity takes a different form each year, but centers on our desire to share music, culture, and ideas with people of completely different backgrounds.
Most recently, the Spizzwinks visited the Gitameit Music Institute in Yangon, Myanmar, an incredible organization dedicated to promoting music and art. We learned about Burmese culture and history, made lasting friendships, and sang a wonderful and diverse array of music, culminating in an joint performance broadcast around Yangon.
In other years, the ‘Winks have visited and sung with organizations and schools in Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, South Korea, and Colombia, and we continue to look for new opportunities for outreach.