Special Reports

MA Top 30 Professional: Magee Capsouto

December 5, 2023 | By John Fleming

Associate Director
Equity Arc

Growing up in New York City, Magee Capsouto started playing the violin at age four, and over the next 20-plus years she progressed toward becoming a professional violinist and teacher. Capsouto earned degrees in violin performance from Furman University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. During her time in school and afterward, she also worked in arts administration at various organizations, such as the Boulder Bach Festival, and that changed her perspective.

“After I graduated with my doctorate from Colorado, I had been in school for the better part of my adult life, and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do in the classical music world,” she says. “What struck me was how much larger an impact you could make in administration. When you’re performing, you can collaborate with fellow musicians and create something special to share with an audience, but in administration you get to create opportunity for countless others. I realized just how powerful it could be to give back to the field and be part of imagining what the future looks like.”

Today, Capsouto is realizing that vision as associate director of Equity Arc, a nonprofit organization formerly known as the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network (NIMAN). Its mission is to provide support to musicians of color through five pivotal stages of development: entry and early years; high school and pre-college; college and conservatory; pre-professional; and young professional.

In March, Capsouto played a key role in the inaugural National Pathways Festival and Annual Convening, held in partnership with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The two-day event brought together 120 arts administrators, music educators, and professional musicians to engage in dialogue on racial equity. Forty pre-college musicians of color performed a side-by-side concert with the CSO.

“The convening was incredible,” she says. “In the wake of George Floyd’s police murder, there were a lot of pledges and promises to address systemic racism. Now we’re able to work with partners across the country who want to turn these promises into action that will lead to tangible change in the field.”




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