Yesterday we joined friends from the CBC over at the FACTOR offices in Chinatown to adjudicate grants to support new recordings by Canadian artists. I was very impressed by the standard of submission, and with the variety and creativity of the projects that were proposed.
FACTOR – Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings – administers contributions from radio broadcasters and the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Music Fund, to support the Canadian music industry.
There are a number of such worthy programs, but what’s missing is a concerted citywide effort to identify the most talented scientists, musicians, artists and scholars studying abroad, provide recognition and help match them with the plentiful resources already available. We have young pianists winning international competitions around the world. We have scholars on full scholarship to some of the world’s greatest universities, and young artists already known in New York galleries, but anonymous to most of us here.
This is why I am proposing an Excellence Program to recognize our best and brightest. We should celebrate talent that stuns the world and represents what is most extraordinary about this city – it’s people, their diverse creativity and our unique perspective on the world.