Jessica Teachey serves as the Senior Director of Community Engagement at Washington DC’s The MusicianShip, a non-profit organization that facilitates music lessons, experiences, and opportunities to benefit youth in need. The organization serves the community through an impact-driven ecosystem of music programs. Here she focuses on increasing music education awareness with regional musicians, preserving music history/cultural community experiences, and growing global program visibility. Her most notable projects are behind the non-profit’s major acquisitions of The Washington Youth Choir, The Wammie Awards, and the DC Funk Parade. Pre-COVID-19, the D.C. Funk Parade hosted 70,000 attendees who filled the U Street corridor with celebrations of African American culture through performances, interactive murals, and panel discussions. This year, the D.C. Funk Parade navigated the pandemic by hosting a hybrid of in-person and virtual events, still raising over $1,900 to support youth music programming. The MusicianShip is using their DC music events as a vehicle to change the lives of youth and they’re looking to work with more partners from their music industry to do even more in 2022.
What does the legacy of D.C. fine arts mean to you?
The legacy of Washington DC’s fine arts (specifically music) means the world to me. I myself am not a musician but it has encompassed every facet of my life and career since I was a youth with dreams of dominating the music business and I saw so many creatives of color begin to do in the late ’90s. However, Washington DC has not historically received our proper due for the music legacy that resides here due to the heavy political and education home bases that reside in The District. The most important part of my work is ensuring that these stories are not lost, that we actively celebrate and promote our arts scene today, and that we also reach back to inspire and properly educate our young creatives of tomorrow who will steer the ship over the next 20–30 years.
At our core, we are a youth development organization that offers a wide range of music education programs, geared towards enriching the lives of students, their families, and the communities in which they live. Our After-school, Summer, Master Class, and Ensemble Programs, such as the Washington Youth Choir, serve youth ranging from 5 years old up to the age of 24. And while we are based in DC, we reach students as far as South Africa, Paris, and Sint Maarten. To support our free youth programs, The MusicianShip stewards an ecosystem of music-based events, each leading to our singular purpose of uplifting those in need. These projects include our Annual Gala, The Wammie Awards, and the DC Funk Parade.
How can others support The MusicianShip?
By volunteering their free time towards our programs/events or by making a direct donation, no matter the size, to our organization at TheMusicianShip.org