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Silk Road Ensemble
About Us

Dong-won kim whirling with the jang-go, an hourglass drum, in front of a crowd on the street


Engaging New Audiences
Silk Road Ensemble member Dong-Won Kim plays the jang-go on the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago. Residencies in museums and universities allow Ensemble members to take inspiration from works of visual art, collaborate on new projects, and share musical traditions with audiences in informal settings.


Laura Freid in the Silk Road Project office

“Given the contemporary global, political, and commercial environment post-September 11, 2001, the motivating concepts of multicultural learning, artistic exchange and international collaborations that inspire Silk Road Project are even more compelling today than they were at the Project’s inception in 1998.”
- LAURA FREID

Laura Freid

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Laura Freid has more than two decades of leadership experience in top-tier institutions of higher education and as a consultant to not-for-profit, public affairs, and media organizations nationally and internationally. Understanding how traditional concepts and new ideas travel across time and cultures has been a lifelong interest and is the focus of her published articles and interviews.

Prior to joining the Silk Road Project in 2004, Dr. Freid was executive vice president for public affairs and university relations at Brown University. A magazine journalist and editor, Dr. Freid served as publisher of Harvard Magazine and publisher and editor of Bostonia magazine. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, she holds an MBA from Boston University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Under Dr. Freid’s leadership, the Silk Road Project has launched an ongoing multi-year affiliation with Harvard University; completed a five-year partnership with Rhode Island School of Design; conducted numerous residencies in universities and museums around the world; spearheaded a yearlong, citywide celebration of the arts in Chicago; and developed Silk Road Connect, a multidisciplinary arts-integration approach to middle-school education. 

Since she came to the Project in 2004, the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble has released three recordings, appeared on Live From Lincoln Center, and performed more than 130 concerts across the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, including at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm in 2005, the Special Olympics in Shanghai in 2007, and the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York in 2009.