Philanthropic Friday: Support the Arts

Inspire music in your community. Support the arts. -

Each year my folks get us something “big” for Christmas. The range of items go from a new hard drive (back when they weren’t inexpensive) to a home-made dinner for up to 8 guests. This year they got us a gift certificate to a seafood market where we can get sushi-grade seafood, live lobster or some other specialty. They’ve done it each year since we got married. The thing is… one of my brothers just got married on December 31st. For many years prior to that his gift was something that a bachelor would need. Usually something akin to stocking his freezer or pantry with food.

But there was one year that really stood out. My mom bought him two season passes to the Quad City Symphony. My brother has always been a bit of an adventurist and free spirit. Bar hopping, skydiving, bungee jumping, car racing. Why did she buy those tickets? He asked for them, that’s why. I thought it was a pretty cool gift idea.

Encourage kids to learn an instrument. Support the arts. -

Here I am some 15 years later and admiring that gift even more. When the girls started the “Beginning orchestra” program in 4th grade, the landscape of music changed for us. My heart aches as we continue to hear about the arts being de-funded in schools. As I explained the other day, I’m glad our school district supports the arts. The dedication is mutual as the Quad City Symphony supports education through a variety of programs. They offer Symphony Day which introduces elementary school kids to classical music. Instruments for Kids provides musical instruments for kids who are interested in participating in their school’s band or orchestra but are unable to finance the purchase or rental of an instrument. They also offer a glimpse behind-the-scenes during rehearsal as part of their Students@Symphony program. Those are in addition to their very robust youth symphony program that involves ensembles of varying expertise.

Support the arts. Encourage kids to join a music program. -

When the kids decided to audition for the youth ensembles with the Quad City Symphony, I was cautiously optimistic. There are a lot of talented kids in this area and I was told that spots are very limited. I couldn’t beam prouder when they both were accepted into the respective programs they applied for. Requiring a great deal of dedication, the program teaches more than just music. It enriches life-skills, builds relationships, teaches respect and culture. How many tweens do you see at a symphony performance? Not many. How many aspire to be part of a symphony when they grow up? Not a lot although I’m sure there are more in communities that support the arts than those that don’t.

Regardless of where you live, there are financial and “time and talent” opportunities to support the musical arts. Whether it be assisting the local symphony, supporting the school booster programs or donating an instrument that you no longer use, there are ways for you to encourage musical learning within your community.

Please do.

If you would like to support the youth program for the Quad City Symphony, please feel free to donate to our cellist or violinist for the annual Bowl-a-thon!

21 thoughts on “Philanthropic Friday: Support the Arts

  1. Love this post! Yes, it’s sad that more and more funding is being removed from the school systems when the arts have proven to be so important for development on all levels. Thanks for the info!

  2. It makes me sad to think that music education is being removed from some schools. I think it’s so important for kids to be exposed to music at an early age.

  3. I have volunteered to be on the area’s Arts Council, which was to solicit donations. I do think music is very important. I actually love listening to kids play their instruments and often search for violin duets, etc. on Youtube, and my favs are when they are teens, etc! It is awful that schools defund the arts, whether art, music, etc. It is good to have alternatives.

  4. Seems strange that “back when” we were all required to take up a musical instrument. I tried the recorder-I am sure my parents were very happy when that was over! It does make me very sad to hear that the arts in general are being taken out of school curriculum. I think the school I went to still has it but probably not as a required subject anymore. What a sad day it was when schools decided they could no longer afford it.

  5. Arts mean something important to us here, and just about everywhere. Everywhere we turn it is what we see, what we read, what we hear. It is all around us.
    I’m glad that in our area here there is an after school program that supports the younger generation in learning what the arts truly is.
    It is a shame that they are taking it out of our school systems where it should stay as it is an outlet for children so they can feel the passion we have felt growing up, and to be able to keep them out of troubles way.

  6. Music education is so important. All the arts are important. It shouldn’t be all academics all the time. I think that we need to grab our politicians by the pocketbook. First thing they do when they don’t get their way is cut school funding.

  7. That is amazing and congrats to both of them for being accepted. You will have to create some videos to share with us so we can see/hear how well they play.

  8. The orchestra (and music, in general) is such a wonderful thing for them to be involved in. My daughter started orchestra and played the viola, but then we moved and there was no orchestra. She was so sad! She ended up playing the sax though and sticking with it all through school.

  9. Sadly where I live budgets have been hit so hard that most schools no longer have music. It is quite sad. We provide opportunities for our children but most can’t afford it. And lessons don’t give opportunities like this to show off their “stuff”.

  10. How proud you must be of your children, and what a great opportunity for them. I think that will help build a lifelong interest in the performing arts. I am fortunate to live in an area that is very supportive of musical arts. Thank you for the post.

  11. This reminds me of the show Glee and what they fought through to keep music in schoools. Such a sad situation.

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