Anthropos Arts was founded to address a need in Austin for high-quality music education for low-income and at-risk students. Our founder Dylan Jones conducted research  documenting interest among low-income students to pursue music education, as well as the financial barriers they faced. He launched Anthropos Arts in 1998 with individual lessons for 15 students at 2 high schools.

Since that beginning, Anthropos Arts has grown to serve students in 16 middle and high schools in three districts, reaching more than 2,000 students each year through our three primary programs. For 100+ students, we provide intensive, one-on-one lessons and mentoring, for thousands of others we provide exposure and education with workshops and master classes led by world-renown artists. Through music mentoring, performances, and workshops we give students increased access to, knowledge of, and participation in the arts. Carol Chapman, Principal at Dobie Middle School, says “quite confidently that the Anthropos programs have had a huge impact on the lives of many of our students, and the results are noticeable across the curriculum.”

Anthropos Arts is unique:

  • Our teachers are professional musicians who have experience performing with the leading bands in the country, as well as teaching experience.
  • We focus on solo performance and improvisation, which builds confidence and musical ability. Every student in our program performs at least one improvised solo in a public performance annually.
  • Our teachers are also mentors, and can be some of the few reliable adult relationships our students have.
  • Our music selections are diverse. Students learn music from their own cultures, but are also stretched to perform pieces from Jazz, Latin, Indian, Arabic, East and West African, Ska, Hip-Hop, Romanian Gypsy and other genres.
  • In addition to an annual showcase of their work, our students perform in some of the seminal music events in the Austin community, including ACL Festival, SXSW, Pachanga Latin Music Festival, Lustre Pearl, Austin Music Hall, and others.