Grant funds financial aid for music education programs in RI
The Hearst Foundation, Inc., has awarded the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School a $75,000 grant to support the organization’s social justice initiatives that bring music education to underserved elementary, middle and high school students.
National research and the Philharmonic’s own data demonstrate that children living in less affluent ZIP codes suffer from an opportunity gap regarding access to music education and other programs typically available to their more affluent peers. The Hearst Foundations grant will support the Philharmonic Music School’s robust financial aid program for new and current students and youth ensembles members.
“We are delighted that this grant will help the Philharmonic to bring music to so many Rhode Islanders, who are engaged as music listeners, learners, teachers, creators, and performers.”
–Alison Yu, Program Officer, The Hearst Foundations
In addition, the funds will help advance the Philharmonic’s community partnership initiatives, including Link Up, a year-long music literacy curriculum offered by the Philharmonic that reaches over 12,000 students in more than 100 elementary schools each year, and Victoria’s Dream Project, a strings program for students in grades 3-5 at Pawtucket’s Agnes E. Little Elementary School that provides alumni with tuition-free instruction at the RI Philharmonic Music School through their high school years.
“On behalf of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, I want to thank The Hearst Foundations for such a generous gift. We have long promoted equity and access to music education. Approximately one-third of our Music School students receive financial aid. Grants from national foundations like Hearst as well as local support are critical to our ability to provide high quality programs with exceptional teaching artists to all children and adults, not just those who can afford to pay for it. After over 70 years of providing excellent music education to our community, we understand that we must continue to evolve to meet the changing needs and circumstances faced by those who live in Rhode Island, and develop programs and pathways that help us reach everyone.”
–David Beauchesne, Executive Director,
R.I. Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School
About the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School
The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1944, embarks on its 75th season, the first full season planned by Artistic Advisor Bramwell Tovey. The Orchestra, comprised of professional musicians, presents a variety of well-known and Grammy-winning soloists, compelling repertoire and renowned guest conductors. The RI Philharmonic Orchestra performs at The VETS auditorium in Providence. RIPO began giving education concerts in the late 1940s and founded its Youth Orchestra in 1956. The Music School was founded in 1988, and merged with the Orchestra in 2001, marking the first successful merger of its type. In 2008, the organization opened the Carter Center for Music Education & Performance to house its combined offices and the main branch of its growing music school. The Carter Center is the 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 Music School’s students come from virtually every community in the state, as well as nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut. More than one-third of the students receive generous financial aid to make their study possible. Eleven other nonprofits, including the Providence Singers, Rhode Island Music Education Association and Rhode Island Children’s Chorus, use the Carter Center weekly to provide music education and community-based music-making opportunities. The organization is slated to open a Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School branch at The United in Westerly Rhode Island in September 2020.
About The Hearst Foundations
The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health and social services. The Hearst Foundations identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives.