IKSV’s Mission to Empower Young Musicians Affected by the Earthquakes

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İstanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı – İKSV) has been working to advance culture and arts in Istanbul since 1973. IKSV regularly organises the Istanbul Festivals of Music, Film, Theatre and Jazz, the Istanbul Biennial, the Leyla Gencer Voice Competition and the autumn film week Filmekimi.

IKSV is receiving grant support from our  Kahramanmaras Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund, launched in collaboration with the Support Foundation for Civil Society (Sivil Toplum için Destek Vakfı), to provide instruments to music students in the earthquake-affected regions. 

Please read the following interview with the organisation for an insight into their work and the impact of their initiatives.

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İstanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı – IKSV) is receiving grant support from our Kahramanmaraş Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund. Can you tell us about your organisation’s mission and activities?

As the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, we have been enriching the cultural and artistic life of Istanbul for a long time and conducting studies on cultural policies throughout Türkiye. We aim to facilitate access to resources for individuals in music education. The specific goal of this project, supported by the Kahramanmaraş Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund grant, is to minimise the impact of the earthquakes. In addition to Doremusic and Zuhal Müzik, collaborators such as Pozitif Müzik, Sala Müzik, Cangöz Müzik, and Keylan Müzik are also supporting the IKSV Instrument Support Fund. This collaboration aims to increase the impact of art and music.

With the Instrument Support Fund, musical instruments were provided to 384 students living in 29 different cities.

You are implementing the Instrument Support Fund project with our grant support and contributions from other donors. Can you tell us about the activities and results of this project?  

The Instrument Support Fund project aims to ensure the sustainability of cultural and artistic life by providing instruments to music students affected by the earthquakes. We received 875 applications in March, April, and May 2023, showing the extent of the need. After evaluating the applications, 34 different types of musical instruments were provided to 384 students living in 29 different cities.

The project has covered a wide geographical area and reached many students. Its most significant impact has been to help mitigate some of the losses in music education and to support students for whom music is an important part of their lives. The impact of the project is measured by the number of applications received, the number of instruments distributed and the feedback from students.

How do you think the project will contribute to the development of culture and the arts in Türkiye and to the promotion of young talent? 

The instruments provided through the Instrument Support Fund will increase the educational opportunities for music students, giving young people access to the tools they need to develop their talents and pursue a professional music careers.

Considering that the participation of young people in the field of culture and arts in Türkiye is decreasing day by day and is almost impossible in the earthquake zone, what strategies should be followed to increase this participation and reach a wider audience?

Many institutions are making significant efforts in this area. Local and international organisations are building a strong network of solidarity and cooperation to meet the artistic needs of earthquake survivors. These projects and collaborations can offer new opportunities for young people to increase their participation in cultural and artistic activities. Organising professional development programmes for young musicians can help them develop their skills and gain stage experience. Workshops and free programmes in schools, youth centres and community centres can attract young people’s interest in cultural and artistic activities. 

The instruments provided with the support of the Fund will increase the educational opportunities of students receiving music education.

What are the future goals and activities of your organisation, and how has the current project influenced your plans? 

The “Notes of Hope” project, launched in conjunction with this project, helps to re-establish artistic ties at the heart of local civil society and aims to rebuild this necessary cycle. To this end, a sponsorship system will be set up to respond to the losses and needs of orchestras in the 11 provinces affected by the earthquakes, including the Hatay Academy Symphony Orchestra, which has lost many of its members. To revive artistic life in the region, French institutions such as the national orchestras of the Grand Est, Hauts de France, and Sud regions are providing support to musical ensembles in Türkiye. Among the French organisations providing support are the national orchestras of the Grand Est, Hauts de France and Sud regions. 

In addition, institutions such as the Philharmonie de Paris, the Cité musicale de Mets, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Radio France are committed to contributing to this solidarity dynamic through complementary activities. Master classes will be organised as part of a joint knowledge exchange programme between the musicians from the Metz – Grand Est National Orchestra and the Hatay Academy Symphony Orchestra. Within this framework, training modules for 4-5 musicians and a supervisor will be held twice a year in 2024, with an initial participation of 20 musicians.

In 2025, it is planned to continue these trainings and to collaborate with different institutions. The aim of the project is to improve young people’s musical skills and artistic expression, increase their self-confidence, gain stage experience, make new friends, understand the history and cultural significance of music, develop their sense of discipline and responsibility, and improve their cooperation and teamwork skills. At the end of the project, a friendship and solidarity concert is planned with musicians from the Hatay Academy Symphony Orchestra and the Metz – Grand Est National Orchestra. 

This event will be an important step towards spreading culture and art and strengthening social solidarity. It is very important to strengthen the culture of giving, especially in the field of culture and the arts. Giving in this area plays a crucial role in supporting young talent, preserving cultural diversity and building a more inclusive future. For this reason, the Fund aims to discover and support young talent, preserve cultural diversity and make culture and the arts accessible to all segments of society.