GRANT RECIPIENTS FOR
Supporting Music Education Programs in
Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Rhode Island, and Texas
Now Entering Its Second Year, PlayUSA Aims to Increase Access to
Instrumental Music Instruction for Underserved K-12 Students Nationwide
|Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) today announced the 2016-2017 grant recipients for PlayUSA, a program that supports a wide range of instrumental music education projects across the United States, all specifically designed to reach low-income and underserved students on a local level. For its second year, Carnegie Hall has selected projects from the following seven organizations:
“We are excited to build on the success of our pilot season and expand PlayUSA to support seven organizations around the country that are bringing high-quality music education to students in their communities,” said Sarah Johnson, Director of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. “Each project and organization selected takes a unique and innovative approach to instrumental music instruction and is committed to reaching a diverse group of motivated young people. Through PlayUSA, we are excited to support each of these programs, but equally important to us is the opportunity to nurture a strong community of organizations across the country who are doing this work and can share and learn from each other. Eventually we imagine that what we learn together might also be shared more broadly across the field.”
PlayUSA provides support for new or expanded music education programs, all working on a local level. During the 2015 – 2016 pilot season, Carnegie Hall invited orchestras across the country that already partner with WMI on its Link Up program to apply for PlayUSA. This year, applications were made available to a wider array of music education organizations of all different types across the country, resulting in 75 letters of intent, of which 17 were invited to submit full applications.
The seven partner organizations selected for PlayUSA this year receive consultation with Carnegie Hall staff to help problem-solve, address challenges, and build on best practices. Carnegie Hall also provides training and professional development for teachers, including both onsite residencies and access to online resources, including monthly webinars. PlayUSA grants (totaling $250,000 this year, an increase of $150,000 from the pilot season) may be used to underwrite teaching fees for music instruction; purchase or rental of musical instruments as well as instrumental repair; and other programmatic costs. Representatives from each PlayUSA organization also convene at Carnegie Hall twice annually to meet each other and engage with leaders in the music education field.
During its pilot year, funding from PlayUSA enabled the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (Ohio) to launch CSO Instructs, a program that offers year-long private lessons with orchestra musicians; supported the expansion of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s Tocando program; and provided youth in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans with an outlet for creative expression through the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s Music for Life program. During the 2016 – 2017 season, the PlayUSA network will more than double, reaching seven programs around the country, including continued support for Tocando and Music for Life.
This season, Carnegie Hall will also be partnering with WolfBrown, a consulting firm for arts and cultural organizations, to document student learning at the PlayUSA partner sites. The research will inform future programming and serve as a resource for the music education field.
PlayUSA is part of a growing set of WMI programs that have expanded beyond New York City to reach students and teachers nationwide. The Link Up program now serves approximately 380,000 students and teachers around the globe through more than 90 partner orchestras, and Musical Explorers for grades K-2 reaches thousands more in New York City and at four national partner sites.
PlayUSA also complements NYO2, an expansion of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA). Launching later this month, this intensive summer program gives young American musicians from communities underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field the opportunity to study with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and meet talented peers from across the country.
Atlanta Music Project (Atlanta, Georgia)
The Atlanta Music Project’s mission is to inspire social change by providing Atlanta’s underserved youth the opportunity to learn and perform music in orchestras and choirs. Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project (AMP) provides intensive, tuition-free music education to underserved youth right in their neighborhood. Funding from PlayUSA will support the expansion of the Atlanta Music Project’s orchestra program with the addition of a new site for 40 new middle and high school students, the expansion of their private lesson program from 45 to 55 students, and the launch of a robust professional development program for their teaching artists.
Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Central Alabama / Scrollworks (Birmingham, Alabama)
The People’s Music School (Chicago, Illinois)
Tocando After School Music Project (El Paso, Texas)
Music for Life (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (New York, New York)
Community MusicWorks (Providence, Rhode Island)
About Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
For more information, please visit: carnegiehall.org/Education
Lead support for PlayUSA is provided by the Fund II Foundation.
The Weill Music Institute’s programs are made available to a nationwide audience, in part, by an endowment grant from the Citi Foundation.
Leadership support for NYO2 is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Founder Patron: Beatrice Santo Domingo.
Image at top of release courtesy of El Paso Symphony Orchestra