Sulukule Children’s School of Arts (Season 03 - Episode 04)
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Children in Sulukule Make their Voices Heard through Music


The latest episode of “Turkey’s Changemakers” features the Sulukule Children’s School of Arts, which was established to keep the children and youth of Sulukule together with the goal of revitalizing the threatened Roma culture.


The idea to form the Sulukule Children’s School of Arts was developed by members of the Istanbul Technical University (ITU)  School of Music. They had the goal of getting the children and youth of Sulukule together, to protect the Roma and the music culture in the Sulukule district, which was previously passed on from one generation to the next. As Sulukule underwent a ‘neighborhood renewal project’, which resulted in the replacement of old houses with new apartment buildings, these cultures are currently under threat. The Sulukule Children’s School of Arts received financial support from the Istanbul: The European Capital of Culture 2010 Agency, and was established in 2010 with the support of the Sulukule Roma Association and the ITU School of Music. A total number of 150 children received education in the school until today, and currently, 80 children attend courses at the centre every week.


Children attending the Sulukule School of Arts receive rhythm, violin, note reading, dance and guitar classes from graduates and faculty members of the ITU School of Music, 7 days of the week. The organization also offers English language courses, and helps children with their schoolwork. Children are encouraged to continue with their primary and secondary education. All children can attend the School of Arts, including those who are currently working as professional musicians, and those want to pursue a musical career and receive education at a university or a conservatory.


Students of the Sulukule Children’s School of Arts recently performed at local music clubs such as Babylon and Garaj Istanbul, and also at an event alongside the Simon Bolivar Orchestra from Venezuela. These young artists performed at numerous events including folk dance and HipHop shows.

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