From the Vasalia-Times Delta: The Tulare County symphony announced Wednesday the award of a $10,000 grant that will support the development of music curriculum for students in underserved areas.
The grant was awarded through the National Endowment for the Arts.
Each year the symphony holds several youth concerts for almost 9,000 school children throughout Tulare County. The symphony says these children are from rural areas and have likely never attended a concert before. So, the symphony’s goal with the grant is to better prepare students prior to attending concerts, giving them a better understanding of the music, composers and instruments.
For Music Director Bruce Kiesling the NEA award signals the beginning of a new era.
“The Tulare County Symphony has been holding concerts in schools since we were founded in 1960,” Kiesling said in a release. “Over the past year we have stepped up our efforts to better serve youth in rural areas. We are honored to have national recognition of the symphony’s merit as an arts organization and the outstanding work we are doing with music education.”
Altogether, the NEA received 1,474 eligible applications through the Art Works category requesting $75 million in funding. Of those applications, just over 900 were recommended for grants.
Executive Director Juliette de Campos said although the grant process is competitive, it is a prestigious award to receive.
“I think the grant is going to provide a lot of support to our rural schools,” she said. “Currently, they don’t have capacity to develop the curriculum in the same way that some of the more established schools in the cities do.”
In an effort to increase support for the symphony’s growing educational programs, Tulare County Symphony Association President Florence Kabot, is appealing to contributors for support.
Kabot says while the minimum cash match requirement for this grant is $10,000, the symphony hopes to raise $20,000, so they can leverage the NEA’s investment and provide even more Tulare County children with the benefits of music education.
Funds should be in soon, which symphony organizers hope to start using over the summer and into the fall school year.
Rossini – Tulare County Symphony