Molly Jane Udaya Sturges
Molly Jane Udaya Sturges (composer/artistic director/performer/educator/
Molly has created and directed many large-scale social practice projects including Founding Artistic Director/Co-founder of Lifesongs (an on-going collaborative program between musicians, youth, nursing homes residents and hospice participants), and Founding Artistic Director of Littleglobe, a diverse arts-in-community artist led non-profit based in New Mexico (www.littleglobe.org).
Selected past projects include: "Common Ground", a multi-year community building & multi-arts project with intergenerational participants from two Eastern Agency Diné communities and the rural village of Cuba, NM (New World Foundation and more); Composer/Artistic Director for SALVE, a music project with returning women veterans (National Hispanic Cultural Center); Artistic Director/Creator/Composer for "Memorylines", a multi-lingual community-sourced opera commissioned by The Santa Fe Opera; Creator/Director/Composer of "Moment", a five-month intergenerational multi-arts project with homeless older adults, artists and youth commissioned by The European Union Festival of Culture in Ireland.
Current projects include: Founder/ Artistic Director/Lead Composer on "FIREROCK: Pass The Spark", a long-term mythical, family-friendly, climate justice musical storytelling and community engagement project that is being employed, adapted and localized by groups and communities nationwide. (www.firerockmusical.com); "The Little Hummingbird", a pop-up climate justice multi-arts community activation; and a range of new commissions including Sandhill, a new composition in collaboration with field recordings of Sandhill cranes.
Molly regularly creates a wide range of in-situ participatory creative activations uniquely designed for each collaborator and context. Recent activations include events with The Dalai Lama and The University of Wisconsin with as well as The Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership/Mind & Life Institute. In the fall of 2019 she will be launching a new project, "Waking The Oracle", with students from Corcoran School of Art and Design and a range of community participants. Commissions and support for social practice projects have included; MAP Fund, EU Festival of Culture, Blackrock, Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Santa Fe Opera, The City of Evora (Portugal), Arts-In-Hospital (Scotland), and more.
In 2008 Molly was awarded the United States Artist Fellowship in Music. Her music is rooted in experimental and improvisational musical practices. Molly holds an MA in World Music Composition from Wesleyan University where she studied with MacArthur Fellow Anthony Braxton and the late great musical mystic Jon Barlow. As a performing vocalist, recording artist, and leader of creative music ensembles she has received numerous commissions and residencies. She has written and performed original music for a wide array of projects including music for dance companies, silent films, circuses and sound installations.
Molly served on the faculty in Arts & Ecology at the University of New Mexico for five years. In 2018 she joined the University of Colorado's CREST lab as a Creative Director for the pilot project of The Colorado Lullaby Project in collaboration with Carnegie Hall. She also leads workshops, master classes, and does public speaking on a range of topics including; creativity & aging, contemplative leadership, death & dying, participatory story-making, arts & climate justice, social imagination, intuitive literacy, and creativity and innovation.
A life-long student and teacher of contemplative and somatic practices including meditation, yoga and qigong, Molly integrates these sensibilities and practices into all of her work. She has been a devoted meditator for over 32 years. She is a certified mindfulness and leadership teacher with The Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute and teaches bi-annual meditation retreats.
Molly is currently serving as Artistic Director with the newly formed Elmfield Institute (www.elmfieldinstitute.com).