Grants Announced for Music and Arts Nonprofits

The Music Man Foundation awarded $450,000 in grants and announced up to $3 million in new funding opportunities for nonprofits with music and arts programs

LOS ANGELES, January 31, 2023The Music Man Foundation today announced $450,000 in grants to nonprofits with music and arts programs, and unveiled up to $3 million in new funding opportunities for organizations working to permanently change the way music is embedded in our schools, health care system, and communities.

Three nonprofits received “Strengthening the Sector” grants. Arts Education Data Project, an initiative of the State Education Agencies Directors of Arts Education, was awarded $250,000 for a dashboard that helps parents, schools, and state agencies better understand student access and participation in arts education. Create CA was awarded $125,000 to train parents and young people to advocate for high quality arts education, and Californians for the Arts was awarded $75,000 to support regional networks in advocating for policies that cultivate thriving cultural sectors.

Two new funding opportunities announced

The Foundation also announced two new funding opportunities for nonprofits. A second round of “Strengthening the Sector” grants will support organizations working to create positive changes in the arts, including advocating for increased public funding to arts programs, supporting policy changes, conducting or sharing new research, or increasing public will in support of the arts. Nonprofits operating in Los Angeles County, in the state of California, or nationally are eligible to apply

A second grant opportunity, called the “Meredith Willson Awards,” is named for the creator of the musical “The Music Man,” in whose honor The Music Man Foundation was established. Two-year grants ranging from $100,000 to $1 million will provide significant general operating support to three to eight national programs working in music, learning, and well-being. ​​This is the first time Meredith Willson Awards have been focused on national programs.

“Meredith Willson and his wife Rosemary believed in the transformative power of music,” said Sarah Lyding, executive director of The Music Man Foundation. “In that spirit, these new grants from The Music Man Foundation will support organizations with bold ideas about how music can improve lives and communities.”

There’s growing recognition of the importance of music for the health of communities and individuals. 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. More information about eligibility and selection criteria for the 2022 Meredith Willson Awards can be found here

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Media Contact: Nerissa Silao, 310-874-9230, [email protected]

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