Skip To Content Skip To Menu Skip To Footer

Center for Civic Learning & Action

View Menu

Civic Innovation Competition

Civic Innovation Competition


The Civic Innovation Competition is designed to meet the needs of our community. The most recent competition was held in the Fall 2020 and was directed towards K-12 students in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought out innovative, community-based solutions to the challenges that families have been facing during the pandemic. The competition specifically sought to engage community volunteers with youth in sustained, safe, and developmentally appropriate ways. The competition consisted of three rounds beginning with the submission of a concept paper. Once semi-finalists were chosen, a workshop was held to assist the teams expand on their concept. The teams then prepared their pitch and presented it to a group of judges who then chose the winner of the competition. The winning team received a monetary prize and their idea will be implemented in the community.

The winning team this fall was Composed with their Make Music Any Way concept. The team members of Composed are Assistant Professor James Martin, Hannah Youmans '22, Max Jacobs '21, and Andrew Howe '21. From Composed's Make Music Any Way concept paper:

"Students and professionals have been banned from practicing their musical passions collectively because those passions have been deemed a health risk... Music inspires creativity, requires discipline, and multiplies joy. It is known that music and the making of it improves cognition, memory, and mood amongst other real benefits. Presently, many of our children are missing out on these necessities. They are isolated by remote learning, unable to creatively express themselves and unable to reap the benefits of playing an instrument or lifting their voices together in song. Hardest hit are disadvantaged communities where children do not have the resources to make music. Whether that be the lack of an actual instrument or the ability to take lessons, the opportunities are just not there... In an attempt to make music anyway, Make Music Any Way seeks to offer a solution to this problem by providing online Inter-Arts group lessons in voice, piano, and stringed instruments."


For more information, contact Dr. Gary Kirk at