Helping Musicians Tell Their Stories: Eastman/ArtistShare® Program Announces 2020 and 2021 Artists

July 19, 2021


For Media Only: Eastman: Katey Padden; (585) 248-1052,
For Institute for Music Leadership: Rachel Roberts (585) 275-1730,
For ArtistShare®: Jana Dagdagan,

Eastman/ArtistShare® Program 2020 and 2021 Artists

Eastman/ArtistShare® 2020 and 2021 Artists: Charlie Halloran (top left), Caitleen Kahn (top right), and fivebyfive (bottom)

The Eastman/ArtistShare New Artist Program announces their 2021 artists Caitleen Kahn and Charlie Halloran, as well as their 2020 ArtistShare artist; fivebyfive (made up of four Eastman alumni). The ArtistShare program provides impactful research, entrepreneurial projects, and valuable internships, but it does more than just boosting the careers of talented Eastman students and alumni. “Combining Eastman’s communications support with ArtistShare’s project development insights offers a one-of-a-kind endorsement as musicians build communities around their creative projects,” says Rachel Roberts, Director of Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership (IML).

This worldwide platform for outstanding students and alumni also allows artists to connect with fans by sharing their creative processes, documenting their work, and allowing fans to participate directly by funding and observing the creation of new artistic works. Eastman alumnus and multiple Grammy Award winner Maria Schneider (MM85) was the first ArtistShare artist, and continues to share her work through the platform.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with ArtistShare,” continues Rachel Roberts. “Awarded through a competitive application process, the participating Eastman students and alums continue to define new pathways and be leaders in creating the future of music.”

About the ArtistShare Artists:

2020 was to be the year that promising Rochester-based new music ensemble fivebyfive released its first studio album, but due to the pandemic this had to be put on hold. Now, fivebyfive –consisting of  flutist Laura Lentz, clarinetist Marcy Bacon (DMA08), guitarist Sungmin Shin (MM11 DMA18), bassist Eric Polenik (MM06), and pianist Haeyeun Jeun (MM08 DMA16) – is relaunching their crowdfunded album through the Eastman School of Music/ArtistShare New Artist program. . 

“Having the opportunity to work on this project through ArtistShare with the support of Eastman has been an incredible honor,” says fivebyfive guitarist Sungmin Shin. “It’s humbling for us to join the amazing roster of artists featured on ArtistShare projects from Maria Schneider to Billy Childs, who have won everything from Grammys to Pulitzers.” 

The album has been expanded from the initial four pieces inspired by Judith Schaecter’s stained glass on display at the Memorial Art Gallery, to include recordings of the three new works written in response to James Welling’s photographs that were on display this past year at the George Eastman Museum, in the exhibit “Choreograph.” The album includes a bonus track, “a tiny dream,” written by composer, performer, and social justice artist Anthony R. Green. fivebyfive will bring together these artistic visions in their performances of this music as the album “Of and Between.” 

ArtistShare Project Website

The Lynx Project is an art song initiative created by soprano Caitleen Kahn and mezzo-soprano Megan Moore in 2015, after completing their graduate degrees at Eastman. Together with Eastman alumni Steven Humes ‘15E (MM) and Florence Mak ‘17E (DMA), they form the Lynx Project; an ensemble with the goal of bringing the incredible world of art song to a wider audience through intimate and inclusive performances and an exploration of the boundaries of traditional recital form.

2021 ArtistShare artist, Caitleen Kahn, created the Autism Advocacy Series, a project setting the words of autistic youth who are primarily nonspeaking to song for voice and piano. The Autism Advocacy Series includes 18 songs with texts by young autistic writers, and this project includes professional recording and distribution of these songs.

“It’s an incredible privilege to share the texts of these young writers, and to celebrate how their words have been interpreted by our composers and performers,” says Caitleen Kahn. “I hope this album not only moves people through its beautiful music and poetry, but opens minds to the voices, stories, and abilities of primarily nonspeaking people. We’re grateful to Eastman and ArtistShare for helping us bring the dream of recording this album to life!”

Amplify Series Project Website

Charlie Halloran is also a 2021 ArtistShare artist; his album Seven Nights Aboard The Alcoa Clipper is dedicated to the breadth of music coming out of midcentury New Orleans and recognizing its role as the northernmost port of the Caribbean. This album features the sounds likely heard on a 13-day excursion from New Orleans through the Caribbean on the Alcoa Clipper, Corsair, and Cavalier cruise ships.

“New Orleans is the city that gave birth to much of American popular music, and where music remains fully integrated into local culture,” says Charlie Halloran. “It’s hard to separate the city from its musical history, be it the birth of jazz in the 1910s and 1920s, the revival era and Rock and Roll of the 1950s, the sounds of soul and funk in the 1960s, the brass band renaissance beginning in the 1970s, bounce music from the 1990s, and the amalgamation of all these styles readily heard today. I like to picture the Paul Barbarin, Dave Bartholomew, or Louis Armstrong band of the 1950s aboard the Alcoa Steamships, performing music for dancing and incorporating the sounds of the countries visited on these Caribbean cruises. Calypsos from Trinidad, beguines from Martinique, merengue from the Dominican Republic, all played with the rocking and collectively improvised sensibilities of a dance and R&B band out of New Orleans.”

Seven Nights Aboard The Alcoa Clipper Project Website


About ArtistShare®:

ArtistShare was founded in 2001 as the internet’s first crowdfunding platform, connects artists with fans in order to share the excitement and beauty of the creative process. The ArtistShare roster includes some of today’s most prestigious artists including Pulitzer Prize- and Oscar-nominated writers, Guggenheim fellowship recipients, Doris Duke Foundation Recipients, NEA Jazz Masters, and Eastman alumna, composer, and orchestra leader Maria Schneider. ArtistShare projects have received 32 Grammy nominations and 11 Grammy awards.

For more information please visit:

About Institute for Music Leadership (IML):

The Institute for Music Leadership was the first center of its kind in the country, created in 2001, with a particular focus on the changing state of classical music, with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Always at the forefront of educating musicians of the future, the Eastman School of Music is dedicated to the comprehensive education of world-class musicians, scholars and leaders. IML serves as a center – and benchmark – for music leadership programs and activities and respond to and help shape America’s changing musical and cultural environment.

The establishment of the Institute for Music Leadership, and the generous support of foundations and philanthropists, has allowed the Eastman School to create a unique atmosphere among music schools, where ideas can flourish, and students are empowered to shape their own destiny by developing the skills and networks they need to adapt to the changing and challenging arts world. The IML is committed not to follow, but to lead, react, adapt and morph its curriculum to meet the needs of the musical world that our students will inhabit as professionals.

For more information please visit:

About Eastman School of Music:

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.

More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.

For up-to-date information on the Eastman Centennial, including feature stories, future events, videos, testimonials, ways to engage, and more, please visit our Centennial website at