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Who Are We


Our Vision:

Every child, artist and teacher harnesses and spreads joy through culture, creativity and teaching community wherever they go. 


Our Mission:

CUMEP empowers and uplifts children of all walks of life so they can develop self-awareness, academic success and social/civic responsibility through the

performing arts.  

Our Story:

The Community Unity Music Education Program (CUMEP) is a 20-year-old multicultural performing arts and human rights educational experience that provides free and low cost music, poetry, performance, visual arts, literacy, math, and human rights education. Guided by a Black consciousness curriculum CUMEP operates programming throughout the community and primarily at the historically Black & female-led Southside Community Center in Ithaca, New York, CUMEP is a multi-age/generational audience of youth artists and activists (artivists) that learn and teach explicit lessons often untaught.  Ithaca College students learn to be community-minded educators and artists.


Through their involvement in the program, the children also establish relationships with positive role models who reinforce these goals. CUMEP is dedicated to fostering leadership and independence through collaboration with counselors and teachers. Counselors are given the opportunity to work alongside veteran leaders and hone their leadership skills in an in-depth, real-life experience. The teachers and group leaders at CUMEP are comprised of veteran teachers in the Ithaca area, as well as students in the Ithaca College Masters of Education program. IC students work alongside mentor teachers and are given valuable field experience in an incredibly diverse setting.

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