$2.85 Million to Fuel Organizations
with Music at the Center of their Work

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 8, 2023 – The Music Man Foundation today announced $2.85 million in grants to 10 nonprofit organizations to accelerate the use of music as a tool to improve learning and wellbeing. Recipient organizations’ programs include support for veterans and young people in schools, building momentum for pro-arts policies, and overcoming polarizing partisan divides in America.

“These grants to changemaker organizations emphasize the Foundation’s commitment to programs that bridge music, learning and wellbeing, and promote policy change for increased funding for music and the arts,” said Sarah Lyding, executive director of The Music Man Foundation.

Braver Angels, CreatiVets, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Music Will and Save the Music received National Meredith Willson Awards, which fund nonprofits with the potential to permanently change the way music is deployed in systems like schools, health care and community services. The Awards are named after Meredith Willson, who wrote the musicals “The Music Man” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and in whose honor The Music Man Foundation was established.

“CreatiVets uses songwriting, visual arts, music and creative writing to help disabled veterans cope with service-related trauma. Through self-expression, our veterans can transform their stories of trauma and struggle into an art form that can inspire and motivate continued healing,” said Richard Casper, co-founder and executive director of CreatiVets. “Funding from The Music Man Foundation will help us make changes to our country’s veteran support systems.”

To support initiatives to increase public funding for the arts, advocate for arts education and pro-artists policies, and raise awareness about the profound impact of arts on our health and wellbeing, Strengthening the Sector grants were awarded to Arts Education Data Project, Californians for the Arts, Create CA, National Association for Music Education and National Guild for Community Arts Education

The connection between music and the health of communities and individuals has been proven in a range of studies. In 2019, the National Institutes of Health awarded $20 million for projects that bring together music therapy and neuroscience. Studies have shown that stronger social ties in our schools and communities, and increased tolerance for others, are among the benefits linked to participation in the arts. Children’s music education has been tied to improved reading and math skills, as well as stronger social skills and increased self-confidence. 

About The Music Man Foundation

The Music Man Foundation is named after the Tony-winning musical written by Meredith Willson. Meredith’s widow, Rosemary, started the Foundation in 1998 as the Meredith and Rosemary Willson Charitable Foundation and substantially increased the Foundation’s endowment upon her death in 2010. The Foundation’s mission is to empower organizations using music to catalyze enduring change and to amplify our founders’ musical legacy. Over the last decade, the Foundation has awarded more than $22 million to 80 organizations. In addition to “The Music Man,” Meredith Willson wrote the musical, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” and beloved songs “It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas” and the University of Iowa fight song.

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Visuals: Photos are available to the media.
Media Contact: Nerissa Silao, 310-874-9230, [email protected]