The New West Symphony announced that it has received a $7,500 grant from the California Arts Council to help underwrite the costs for the Symphony’s Harmony Project for incoming elementary school students. The funding will help defray the costs of salaries for the professional musicians who teach in the program as well as of instruments and supplies which are provided to the students at no charge.
This first-time grant is part of the California Arts Council’s Artists in Schools program which supports projects that integrate community resources, such as artists and professional arts organizations, into standards-based arts learning projects for students.
“We are thrilled to receive this generous support from the California Arts Council, who share our passion for music and the arts” said New West Symphony Harmony Project of Ventura County Director Andrea Landin. “Harmony Project depends on our local arts community to support, sustain, and run this program. Without the Ventura arts community, we would not be able to have such a positive impact on these students and their families.”
The New West Symphony Harmony Project of Ventura County is a youth development program that uses music as a tool for social change. It does this by providing tuition-free after school music lessons to children from Title I schools in Ventura, including Sheridan Way, EP Foster, and Will Rogers Elementary Schools, and DeAnza and Cabrillo Middle Schools. As a partner of the Ventura Unified School District, the program currently has 140 students in grades 3-8, with a waitlist of 40 students, and 10 professional Teaching Artists. It is affiliated with Harmony Project Los Angeles and was founded in Ventura by local philanthropists Sandra and Jordan Laby.
“California Arts Council grants provide vital support for projects in diverse communities across our state,” said Craig Watson, director of the California Arts Council. “This was an historic year of state arts support. We are proud to invest more than $8.5 million in funding 712 grant projects that will stimulate local growth and prosperity, and meet the needs of our communities through deep engagement with culture and creative expression.”
This year, the California Arts Council’s Artist in Schools program will allow 144 arts organizations to hire 580 teaching artists that will serve a total of more than 43,000 students in 323 schools across California.