Community Voices Collaboration

drawing of a map of Buffalo decorated with text: community, creativity, collaboration, expression.

Do you wish there was a way to share the things you are passionate about with the world around you? Share your creativity, interests, and talents through UB's Community Voices Collaboration!

Project description


Introducing a special course offering for Spring 2020!

  • Community Creativity Laboratory
    • MUS 350 (undergraduate)
    • MUS 550 (graduate)
    • Section 1: Monday and Wednesday 11am-12pm 
    • Section 2: Tuesday and Thursday 3pm-4pm 

Are you yearning for a way to be more creative, expressive, and assertive in your life? Would you like to be more involved with your community? Do you wish there was a way to share the things you are passionate about with the world around you? Would you like to perform or do something artistic, but feel that you don’t have the experience, talent, or time? Then this class is for you!

This semester, opera studio (MUS 350/550) is calling ALL STUDENTS to collaborate in a special community creativity performance project. Students will meet weekly at UB to explore the topics of creativity, expression, and communication, techniques that they will later use to engage directly with members of the Buffalo community, building bridges through music and art.

In addition to our weekly class, each student will be assigned to a project group within the Buffalo community, each with their own project focus, developed by the interests of the members of each group: creativity, expression, diversity, communication, community. These community works will be collaged into a larger performance piece, celebrating diversity, environment, and engagement, and in which our students from UB, our community partners, and general audience will participate in at the end of the semester.

Working with the supported of the UB Experiential Learning Network Project Portal, students will be given opportunities to explore deeper personal connections with their work and develop ways to share their collaboration with others, either continuing in their own unique path, or to share with future employers, graduate programs, and others.

No experience is necessary, just a desire to create and share what’s important to you.

Examples of possible projects include:

  • Building instruments from recycled materials to be played by elements as an installation about the environment.
  • Creating an interactive piece where the audience and performers meet one another and learn about each other, promoting community, conversation, and compassion.
  • Creating a piece about diversity, featuring different musical styles and poetry in many different languages.

We hope you’ll join us for this special opportunity!

Project outcome

Students will collaborate with UB students and outside community organizations to create artistic works relating to their creative and intellectual interests. These works maybe physical pieces of art, such as a building a musical instrument, or creating an interactive audience performance work. The purpose of each artistic work is to help build bridges of communication and understanding between members of the city and suburbs of Buffalo. Each work will be presented publicly at UB and partnering organizations.

In addition to the group project, students will be led in a variety of creative exercises exploring the relationship of art and creativity with advocacy, education, community, and expression, so that they may begin to identify ways in which creativity and expression can play a more active role in their lives and academic interests.

In addition to the final performances, students will create a short written or video testimonial sharing a reflection of what they have learned through this process.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Spring (January/February)
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Academic credit
Who is eligible All undergraduate students

Project mentor

Tiffany Du Mouchelle

Clinical Assistant Professor of Voice


Phone: (716) 645-0632


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  1. What is important to you? Set aside 10 minutes to write freely, without censorship, about what is important to you. Discuss you academic career plans, community engagement, family, politics, global issues, health issues, etc. Make sure that you will be uninterrupted, and set a timer. Once you are done, read what you have written and create a list of 3-5 topics that you would be interested in pursuing this semester. 
  2. Identify your community: Make a list of all community groups that you have associations with, including UB organizations. This can include schools you've attended, places of worship, professional groups, etc. If you don't have affiliations, research your interests and local organizations. Create a list of 3-5 possible organizations you would like to collaborate with, including address, website, contact information. 
  3. Watch the following Ted Talk video: "Bringing it home: Lessons on Community Engagement" 
  4. Read the following article: "8 ways to empower people to show up as active co-creators in your community"