The Guitar Center Music Foundation (GCMF), a non-profit organization focused on granting instruments to music education and music therapy organizations, states that it has had a busy Q1 and Q2 of 2022 in expanding its list of grantees to a number of education and outreach initiatives.
“It is our mission to give everyone the power to express themselves through music, and to keep music education alive and attainable,” says Myka Miller, executive director of GCMF. “As we continue to partner with groups across the country, it is clear that music education is key to providing a voice and safe space to musicians and non-musicians alike. We must foster talent and encourage people of all ages to share their experiences through sound
“During the first half of this year, we assisted over 70 organizations, putting us on track to double last year’s numbers,” she adds. “To date this year, GCMF has awarded over $200K in grants, impacting more than 10,000 young musicians. Through instrument grants and donations, our goal is to ensure schools and music education programs get the resources they need to keep music alive and accessible.”
An example is a new program at the Antioch Speedway in Antioch, CA. When Speedway volunteer Larry Adams learned that kids from Antioch High School might not graduate due to not having enough elective credits, he saw an opportunity to create a class for students to broadcast the racetrack’s events to earn those missing credits.
Adams came to GCMF asking for audio-visual gear to help build the school’s new broadcasting program, and GCMF donated all AV equipment needed for the students, and as a result, students not only get the chance to graduate but also receive hands-on experience in a field that could offer college scholarships.
The ELECTRIC MOON Foundation, an online 3D and VR music and art experience organization based in Los Angeles, CA, is another grantee. GCMF responded when they reached out about a need for instruments for their summer music camp held at Alexandria House, a transitional home for women and children in Los Angeles. At camp, children learned to play an instrument and write songs and ended with a performance in front of friends and family. Through this request, GCMF was able to gift 25 guitars to the group.
Jazz Hands for Autism was also provided with a GCMF grant, equipping their students with new guitars, basses, and recording equipment. This talent advocacy group has supported over 200 musicians on the Autism spectrum. Located in Los Angeles Jazz Hands for Autism’s students are excelling in their music lessons. Many students are also finding success as performers, writers, and recording artists.
Casa Youth Shelter, based out of Los Alamitos, CA, offers temporary emergency shelter for homeless, runaway, and abandoned youth ages 12-17. It serves and nurtures youth in crisis with shelter, counseling and support services. The organization provides residents with music classes, for which GCMF donated several guitars and ukuleles.
Marbridge Foundation, based in Manchaca, TX, is a 200-plus acre residential community that houses more than 270 adults with a wide range of cognitive disabilities. Their training and education program has a variety of classes, including drum therapy, band, painting, and more. GCMF provided an assortment of percussion instruments for these courses.
Miller concludes, “When we connect with and listen to the needs of our communities, we broaden our impact and can share the power of music with all.”