The Bridge Fund is a new initiative focused specifically on bridging the gap between access to music education and the Black community
The D’Addario Foundation has announced the launch of the Bridge Fund, a new initiative focused specifically on bridging the gap between access to music education and the Black community. The fund aims to address the community which has been historically ignored and often denied access to these life-changing programmes.
Acknowledging the landscape of music education funding over the past 25 years, the foundation notes that budget cuts disproportionately impact school districts that serve students of colour, immigrant students, and low-income communities.
’The damaging consequences of Covid has only exacerbated the need to address the enormous gap in educational resources and opportunities,’ says D’Addario Foundation Executive Director, Suzanne D’Addario Brouder.
’We honour the values and needs of communities by launching the Bridge Fund that very intentionally identifies and supports innovative, immersive, and accessible music programs in Black communities. In particular, we seek programmes that take place after-school and are available multiple days per week - elements that very clearly contribute to higher levels of engagement and academic achievement as an actionable solution to “bridging” this gap and giving every student a chance to reach their highest potential.’
One of the newest grantees who recently was awarded support from the Bridge Fund is West Point School of Music’s Urban Music Makers programme. It is a Black-led and Black serving band and steel drum programme engaging urban youth through free in-school and after-school music instruction and performance. Their goal is to build bands at multiple schools that students will be proud to call their own.
The D’Addario Foundation has fought to overcome the decimation of music education in America’s schools by supporting innovative community music programs that not only restore access to music education by breaking down all barriers to entry, but nurture youth development, mentorship, and leadership.
In October 2021, the foundation awarded $487,500 to music education programmes across the US and Canada. The funds went towards both monetary and product grants to enable organisations to continue their education and community programmes following the difficulties of the pandemic.
The foundation is calling for donations to the Bridge Fund, which can be done here.