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Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Announces PlayUSA Grants to Community Music Education Programs

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For its seventh year, Carnegie Hall has selected 19 organizations from across 17 U.S. states for a total of $510,000 in grants.

Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Announces PlayUSA Grants to Community Music Education Programs

Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute today announced the 2021-2022 grant recipients for PlayUSA, a program that supports community partner organizations across the country to help ensure equitable access for instrumental music education programs that serve K-12 students. For its seventh year, Carnegie Hall has selected 19 organizations from across 17 U.S. states for a total of $510,000 in grants. In addition to financial support, the grantees join a nationwide network of innovative organizations committed to providing transformative music education opportunities for youth across the country.

PUBLIQuartet-the innovative chamber ensemble dedicated to playing new string works and supporting emerging composers-will be PlayUSA's first ever ensemble-in-residence throughout the 2021-2022 season, connecting with the partner organizations for professional development and music-making. Through Reflections on Resilience-in partnership with PUBLIQuartet and inspired by their "Reflections on Beauty," a musical collage that chronicles the life of Madam C.J. Walker-PlayUSA partners will gather biographical narratives from the young musicians they serve across different areas of the country, and share their artistic responses to living history. Reflections on Resilience asks each partner: how do we best share stories? Who gets to write history?

Through PlayUSA, partner organizations receive consultation with Carnegie Hall staff, professional development for teachers, access to online resources, and monthly webinars. In addition, an annual convening will give partners a chance to come together and learn from each other's practices. PlayUSA grants 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. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, PlayUSA partners have shifted their work to digital platforms, providing essential support and ongoing music-making to serve their local communities.

"With a variety of social needs and issues with voting rights, racial injustice, gender equality, refugee crisis, and hunger/food insecurity, it can all be overwhelming in trying to run a program for a variety of kids and families with different experiences and backgrounds. The conversations, professional development, and resources have been invaluable for us to think about both personally and professionally and how to begin addressing it in thoughtful and hopeful ways through music. PlayUSA keeps the difficult conversations going and keeps us moving forward through all of these circumstances." -El Sistema Oklahoma

"Over the past seven years, PlayUSA has built a diverse network of thoughtful leaders in the music education field who bring high-quality instruction and music-making to communities across the country," said Sarah Johnson, Carnegie Hall's Chief Education Officer and Director of the Hall's Weill Music Institute. "We are especially proud of the many innovative ways that partners pivoted during the pandemic and went above and beyond to provide musical learning opportunities and support to students nationwide. We look forward to collaborating and learning from one another again this season."

For more information about PlayUSA, visit carnegiehall.org/PlayUSA.


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