6 Nonprofits Nurturing The Love Of Music

Music is an art form that goes beyond borders. It has the power to heal, bring people together, and inspire. Whether you are seeking ways to connect with or learn about the medium, or simply looking to discover new artists and traditions, the following are some organizations that work to nurture musical expression, listed in no particular order.

Beginning the list at #1 is Jazz in the Neighborhood. This organization works to improve the musical gig economy in the Bay Area by presenting affordable concerts, paying musicians a guaranteed wage, and supporting the work of established and aspiring jazz artists. The group launched the Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund to encourage venues and presenters to pay musicians a minimum fee up front, regardless of ticket sales. When event revenue does not cover the cost of the agreed upon compensation, JITN can help make up the difference.

The foundation's Emerging Artist program gives aspiring jazz musicians an opportunity to take part in the time-honored tradition of learning on the bandstand. Those selected for the program receive a small stipend in addition to valuable real-life experience by performing on stage with established jazz musicians, either as featured players or as opening acts.

The Center for World Music is #2 on the list. Its primary purpose is to foster intercultural awareness, healing, and understanding by facilitating in-depth encounters with global performing arts traditions. Throughout the year, the group organizes several concerts and performing arts festivals in San Diego, as well as in other major cities in the United States and abroad.

Since 1971, the CWM has sponsored several educational programs and cultural tours abroad, including hands-on music and dance workshops. Participants of all ages have studied in diverse areas of the world, including Indonesia, Ghana, Turkey, China, Mexico, and Peru.

At #3, the Mockingbird Foundation was founded in 1996 by fans of the band Phish, who wished to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community and beyond. Since doing so, the organization has been dedicated to improving access to musical education for America's youth. Through fundraising and publishing, the Foundation is able to provide instruments, texts, office supplies, practice facilities, performance spaces, and instructors to kids in need.

Mockingbird is particularly interested in supporting programs that benefit disenfranchised groups. It aims to assist those with low skill levels, income, or education, as well as those with disabilities and terminal illnesses. The programs are also meant to benefit at-risk youth who are in foster homes, shelters, hospitals, prisons, or other remote situations.

Moving on to #4, the Bob Moog Foundation's mission is to ignite creativity at the intersection of music, science, history, and innovation. The Foundation provides hands-on opportunities for children and adults to explore the science of sound through a series of programs, as well as through the interactive Moogseum, located in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dr. Bob's SoundSchool, the Foundation's hallmark educational project, is a 10-week curriculum that teaches students the physics of sound using both acoustic and electronic musical instruments like theremins and oscilloscopes. The Moogseum opened in the spring of 2019, and serves as an educational, historical, and cultural resource for Western North Carolina and the worldwide electronic music community.

The Arhoolie Foundation, which is #5 on the list, is dedicated to the documentation, preservation, and celebration of regional roots music and its makers. The Foundation is anchored in the life's work of its founder, collector Chris Strachwitz, and his acclaimed independent music label Arhoolie Records.

The genres this group focuses on include blues, zydeco, gospel, jazz, old-time, and other traditional folk styles. It works to keep these traditions alive through archival preservation, exhibits, community and educational outreach, and in-person performances. Providing direct support to artists, teachers, scholars, and others working to ensure the continued vibrancy and sustainability of tradition-based music is also a priority.

Finally, the #6 spot goes to the Festival of New Trumpet Music. Based in New York, this grassroots project is run by and for a community of trumpeters, and strives to support up-and-coming modes of expression related to the instrument. FONT Music provides a platform for emerging artists and creative pioneers, with the goal of celebrating the diversity of contemporary brass performance.

The organization hosts an annual, week-long festival in addition to several isolated events throughout the year. Through these events, FONT Music seeks to connect disparate communities of musicians, students, and audiences. The happenings are multi-genre, and include jazz, Balkan, Latin, electronic, and experimental music. To complement the performances, several educational programs are offered as well.