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Workforce Development

Elevate Vocal Arts (EVA) was founded in 2021 and launched in 2023 with the support of the State of Delaware to create performance and education opportunities, and to expand creative workforce development training for individuals from marginalized communities to develop as professional Vocal Artists who speak to our time's relevant issues through music, storytelling, and spoken word, strengthening our democracy. EVA contributes to the foundation of Delaware’s creative economy through our innovative, multi-faceted, and evidence-based approach that inspires and trains a future creative workforce that is diverse, skilled, culturally responsive, and, ultimately, employable. Through song and spoken word, our Vocal Artists envision and create new possibilities, thus expanding Delaware’s creative economy and transforming our community and world.


The cultural and creative industries are among the fastest growing sectors in the world; the arts and culture sector, 6.1% of the global economy, has an estimated global worth of $4.3 trillion per year (UNESCO, 2022). However, marginalized communities have been left further behind than their Caucasian peers; it is well documented that the contributions of Black and Brown musicians to western music have been overlooked and devalued for centuries. This is not only an artistic problem but an economic and societal one. When Black and Brown vocal artists’ entrepreneurship and talent are not nurtured, they earn less, encounter fewer professional opportunities, and/or leave the field altogether, thus increasing the racial/wealth divide.


Program Overview

EVA targets these intersectional issues, expanding opportunities in the arts and enhancing the skills of Delaware’s future workforce. EVA’s programming has three core pillars: Workforce Development, Education, and Performance. We provide musicians with the tools and resources they need to seek a career in the vocal arts, while also creating space for them within Delaware’s creative economy. We offer professional performance opportunities through our professional ensemble, Elevation, and educate the future and current arts community; our PK-12 school residencies and Delaware-based Bent But Not Broken Conference provide professional development and educational opportunities for all ages. Our Summer Institute is a one-of-a-kind, intensive five-week program designed specifically for Vocal Arts Apprentices aged 18-25—a demographic often overlooked in traditional workforce development programs. We seek to address systemic racism and wealth inequity that has led to stagnation in the arts and the labor market, impacting our state in both the short and long-term.

At EVA, we are committed to guiding vocal artists in developing essential and transferable workforce competencies and skills, including:

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Dependability
  • Resourcefulness
  • Collaboration
  • Creative and
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Professionalism
  • Reading and Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Problem-Solving
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Respect
  • Understanding of Diversity
  • Career and Life Management
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Security
  • Information Technology

Join us at Elevate Vocal Arts and discover the wealth of opportunities awaiting you in the vibrant world of vocal arts. Together, we will shape the future of the creative economy in Delaware and beyond!

Summer Institute
Our Vocal Arts Apprentices (VAAs) are at the core of our program. VAAs are chosen through an application process that includes resume submission, audition, interview, and an assessment of workplace hard and soft skills.
Bent, But Not Broken
Bent, But Not Broken is a four-day conference amplifying the musical contributions of Black musicians and composers across time and across genres. Pairing performances from esteemed choral groups with discussions and workshops by the nation's most knowledgeable scholars of music and history, Bent, But Not Broken serves as a community summit to make visible—and audible!—the works of Black composers.

Support Us

At Elevate Vocal Arts (EVA), we believe that everyone can contribute to our mission of transforming lives through the power of vocal arts. Your support enables us to create and expand creative workforce development opportunities, inspire communities, and strengthen our democracy through the power of vocal arts.