Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) is thrilled to announce that our 2023 National Benefit Gala will include a special musical performance by ARKAI, an award-winning electroacoustic duo that has inspired audiences around the world through its genre-defying string music.
Graduates of The Julliard School, ARKAI's past engagements have included performances at The MET, Carnegie Hall, Public Theater, World Trade Center, Bryant Park, City Winery, US Air Force Academy, 54 Below, Lincoln Center, Musikfest, and Chateau Marmont. Their electronic debut composition, "Letters from COVID", was featured at TED@PMI for a global audience of over 30,000 people from 182 countries. Recent highlights include opening for Oscar and Grammy-winning musician Jon Batiste at NYC's Javits Center.
As creative collaborators, ARKAI was commissioned by the Museum of Chinese in America to compose a work for their exhibition Reponses: Asian Americans Resisting the Tides of Racism. Other commissions have included a piece for Silver Lining Ltd's Impact 5X initiative - a global economic justice project supporting hundreds of small business owners from underserved communities around the world.
Alongside performing, ARKAI creates artistic programs that connect and uplift communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, their SupportNYC initiative has helped raise over $80,000 in monetary support for small businesses and organizations like the MET Orchestra Musicians, Harmony Project, D'Addario Foundation, and Shakespeare Dallas through fundraising performances, and spreading hope and healing to communities across the country through the power of the arts. ARKAI was recently honored with the 2021 Robert Sherman Music Education and Community Outreach Award presented by WQXR, The Julliard School, and The Harold W. McGraw Family Foundation in recognition of their work through SupportNYC.
ARKAI was selected by the U.S. Department of State and the Association of American Voices to participate in the '21-22 American Music Abroad season. Through this program, ARKAI has engaged in exchange programs with underserved audiences around the world with little or no access to American music, demonstrating the power of cultural diplomacy as a tool to bring people together.
In collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Jonas W. Karlsson, ARKAI's debut album will be released in 2024. ARKAI is a winner of the 2023 Astral Artists National Competition.
To learn more about YA's 2023 National Benefit Gala, please visit YA.org/gala.