Dantes Rameau, co-founder and executive director of the Atlanta Music Project, was named to Ebony magazine’s 2013 Power 100, its list of today’s most influential African-Americans.
Joining luminaries such as President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Congressman John Lewis and Shonda Rimes, the 31-year-old Ottawa native was among ten leaders recognized in the magazine’s “Community Crusaders” category. This section, which celebrates “ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” includes peers who run programs to prevent violence, provide environmental education, promote urban revitalization — forces for social change.
Rameau’s organization provides underserved youth with musical instruments, professional instruction and performance experience, not to mention habits of discipline and a place to go after school. (For more, read our story about AMP.)
“It’s nice to be recognized for music education,” says Rameau. “We often hear that it’s being neglected by public schools and policy makers. To be recognized by a mainstream magazine suggests that people still want to support the arts.”
He’s grateful for the attention to the program. “Our kids work very hard. We pick them up off the streets They are so talented, and the teachers are such dedicated professionals.”
Rameau attended the Power 100 gala at New York City’s Lincoln Center on November 4. It was a kick, he says, to walk the red carpet right behind the Jackson family. Following him was Antoinette Tuff, the school clerk who convinced a gunman to put down his weapons at Decatur High School this summer.
“Ebony was thoughtful about seating us next to people with whom we could have a productive conversation,” he says. “I sat with Valerie Montgomery, the new president of Morehouse School of Medicine, and we discussed the possibility of AMP performing at her inauguration in September 2014. ”