Thursday, October 25, 2018
Funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Launches Chicago Music Pathway Initiative to Diversify the Next Generation of Musicians
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced a $3.5 million grant to seven Chicago area music organizations to establish the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI). CMPI will support promising young musicians from underrepresented backgrounds and low-income households in order to diversify the next generation of musicians. Ultimately, CMPI’s goal is to prepare these musicians to excel at the nation’s finest music schools, and, eventually, to perform with the nation’s premiere ensembles.
The announcement took place during a news conference at Merit School of Music in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Merit, along with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), Chicago Sinfonietta, DePaul University School of Music, The Negaunee Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Ravinia Festival, will serve as the Steering Team to implement CMPI. Student musicians from Merit and CYSO also performed during the news conference.
In a statement, Susan Feder, program officer at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Arts and Cultural Heritage program, said, “This is a matter of access and opportunity, not one of a lack of talent. Mellon-supported consortia are already working in Philadelphia and are concurrently beginning in Boston. As a major market for classical music and the third largest school district in the nation, Chicago was a natural site for such work, and CMPI has received our largest ‘Pathways’ grant to date.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel added, “Music and arts are inseparable from a well-rounded education, and in Chicago, we are committed to expanding programs and initiatives designed to develop vital critical thinking skills and help all children realize their limitless potential.