Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School awarded $150,000 grant from The Champlin Foundation

Grant funds improvements to the Carter Center in East Providence,
the Music School’s primary teaching facility and home to 11 other nonprofits,

Helps expand access to quality community-based music education
and performance in the region

The Champlin Foundation has awarded the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School with a $150,000 grant to help improve the organization’s primary learning facility, the Carter Center for Music Education & Performance on Waterman Avenue in East Providence. In September, the Carter Center celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The Carter Center’s initial construction was funded with significant support from The Champlin Foundation. This new investment, combined with commitments totaling more than $500,000 from Rhode Island’s 2014 Creative and Cultural Economy Bond and other donors, will support the purchase of new pianos, improvements to rehearsal, performance and teaching spaces, and upgrades to sound, lighting, acoustics and technology.

Since opening in 2008, the Carter Center has dramatically expanded access to quality music education and performance in Rhode Island and the region. Music School enrollments have more than doubled to approximately 1,500. Over one-third of students receive generous financial aid to ensure that all programs are affordable. Eleven other nonprofit partners including the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus, Providence Singers, Narragansett Bay Community Orchestra and American Band also use the center. Over 3,000 people teach, make and learn music together in the facility each week. The Philharmonic also manages education and community programs from its offices at the center that reach 22,000 children throughout the region annually–most of which are free to participants.

“The Champlin Foundation is pleased to provide grant funding to the RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School to help this community nonprofit advance its vital mission to enrich and transform Rhode Island and our region through great music performance and education. The Champlin Foundation grants are awarded on a competitive basis and our grant to the RI Philharmonic is a reflection of our confidence in the organization’s ability to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders in significant ways.”

–Nina Stack
Executive Director,  The Champlin Foundation

The Carter Center is one of the finest and most successful facilities of its kind in the United States. The programs offered within it are exceptional for their quality, scope and accessibility. The Philharmonic intends to build on this success through the current round of renovations. They have also partnered with The United Theater and Knickerbocker Music Center to open a Westerly branch of the Music School in 2020. Champlin is a supporter of that project as well.

“On behalf of the RI Philharmonic, I want to thank The Champlin Foundation for such a generous gift. This grant ensures that the Carter Center will continue to be one of the best community music facilities on the East Coast. We are also grateful for their support in Westerly. Donor support is critical to our ability to provide high quality programs with exceptional teaching artists to children and adults that are affordable and accessible to all.”

–David Beauchesne
Executive Director, RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School

About The Champlin Foundation
Since 1932, The Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $550 million to fund capital projects and equipment for Rhode Island non-profit organizations. These investments have fostered better medical care, improved education, expanded access to social services, conservation of open spaces, preservation of historic buildings, enrichment of the arts, advancement of animal welfare and more. Quietly and steadfastly, The Champlin Foundation helps those who do good do more–to the benefit of all.

About the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School
The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School is committed to engaging the people of Southern New England as lifelong music listeners, teachers, learners, creators and performers. It is the largest combined professional orchestra and community music school in the United States, and the only professional orchestra in the country to officially designate music education and performance as equal priorities. In addition to the Philharmonic Orchestra’s Classical, Pops, education concerts and in-school performances, the Philharmonic Music School offers music education programs and performance opportunities to people of all ages, incomes and ability levels. It is currently the only comprehensive, non-profit community music school in Rhode Island and engages approximately 1,500 students statewide on a weekly basis and an additional 22,000 students through periodic partnerships, residencies, education concerts and in-school performances.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1944.The Music School was founded in 1988.The two merged in 2001, marking the first successful merger of its type. The Philharmonic Orchestra performs at The VETS in Providence. In 2008, the organization opened the Carter Center for Music Education & Performance to house its offices and the main branch of its growing music school. The Carter Center is the first and only facility in Rhode Island dedicated solely to music education and performance. The Center has dramatically increased the Philharmonic’s ability to provide high quality, comprehensive and accessible music education to thousands of students through scholarship and community partnership arrangements. The School’s students come from virtually every community in the state, as well as nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut. Eleven nonprofits use the Carter Center weekly to provide music education and community-based music-making opportunities.