Current amount raised including offline donations: $17,683!
If our campaign brings in $28,000, Wynton Marsalis, jazz musician and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Mark Patterson, Vice Chair of Jazz at Lincoln Center, have offered to contribute the remaining $10,000 to bring us to our total goal of $38,000!
We need your help to get there. Please give as much as you are able and inspired -- and help us spread the word.
“Knowing that people are helping just a poor little school in a big place, it makes me feel important.” -12-year-old Sebastian, a member of the band at I.S. 171 (Listen at http://cbsloc.al/UEy2Zr)
More details on our fundraising goal and how we plan to reach it are below.
The Band's Story:
At I.S. 171, a middle school in the low-income Cypress Hills/East New York, Brooklyn neighborhood, there is no music education during the school day. For many years, the school’s instruments, dusty and forgotten, were locked up in a closet.
Three years ago, a local nonprofit stepped in to bring the joy of music back: they started up the school band in their afterschool program. It was a huge success!
About 35 students each year learned to play instruments and read music. At the band concerts, the kids and families beamed with pride. Students moved from beginner to advanced band and some earned scholarships to join the jazz program at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music! That’s an all-but-unheard-of opportunity in the Cypress Hills/East New York neighborhood.
But the school band’s funding ran out at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. Right now, kids are back in school, but there is no band. The instruments are once again locked up in a closet.
After the band’s final concert 2011, one 12-year-old boy asked, “Do I have to give my trombone back?” The staff said yes, and explained that the instruments belonged to the school. The boy handed over his trombone but, as he did, he burst into tears. His family, like almost all families at IS 171, does not have enough money to rent an instrument.
This band was changing lives. We need to save it.
The nonprofit, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), and the music instructors from the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music are ready to restart the I.S. 171 band as soon as the funds are raised – as early as mid-to-late October -- so the kids get as much time to practice as possible. But they can’t do it without your help.
Every kid should have the chance to play an instrument in school, but the kids at I.S. 171 won’t – unless we make it happen. So let's do it. Let's save the middle school band!
The total cost of running that band for one school year is $38,000. Here’s what that covers:
Program Director: $3,200
Site Director: $2,315
Music Instructors*: $29,750
Administrative Overhead: $2,735
*Includes 20 weeks of instruction, two days per week, for 6 teachers (to be able to provide lessons for all the instruments during afterschool time), as well as time for concerts and special events
"But guys, your page is only for $15,000!"
That's true. We're hoping the page will exceed its goal, but we're also doing other things to raise additional funds:
If our campaign brings in $28,000, Wynton Marsalis and Mark Patterson have offered to contribute the remaining $10,000 to bring us to our goal of $38,000!
- The Talent Show Brand Variety Show hosted a show on October 2, starring comedians Hannibal Buress, Eugene Mirman, Michael Showalter, Dave Hill, and more, and generously donated all proceeds to our campaign. The show raised more than $2,500! A follow-up video will be released soon, starring the comedians from the show, to draw more attention to the cause!
- We have raised more than $5,000 in additional offline donations, as well. Please give online if you are able -- we all love to watch the campaign progress -- but if you strongly prefer to give offline, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on where to mail a check.
Even if we don’t reach the total goal, donations will still bring as much music as possible back to the kids in Cypress Hills -- we will restructure the program based on the amount raised (i.e. offer a band, but for fewer weeks of the year).
Please note: because CHLDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations are tax deductible. We will send you a receipt for tax purposes.
And for those who are wondering, “If we raise the funds for 2012-2013, so what? Won’t the band be in the same pickle next year?” Good news:
We will be applying for a NYS government grant for the 2013-2014 school year. It’s the grant that supported the band the last 3 years, but there’s no funding available this year because of government cuts. This is devastating for the kids who would otherwise be continuing in band and those who'd hoped to join.
Your gift will directly support music education for middle school students in Cypress Hills/East New York. LET’S DO THIS!
The Impact and Other Ways to Help
If you played an instrument or did anything creative when you were in middle school (and probably even if you didn’t), you probably know what a big deal this is. Sometimes band is the only thing to look forward to.
But even if you loved middle school, the school band has an impact far beyond having fun and learning to read notes – it helps kids build confidence, work as a team, learn to really listen, develop a new passion, and appreciate jazz, classical music, and the arts a whole lot more.
Any amount you can give will help bring the music program back to the kids at I.S. 171.
And please, please, whether you can donate or not, spread the word about the campaign! Share this page on Facebook, Twitter, whatever other newfangled network you’re using these days – let people know they can be part of saving the music for some amazing kids.
Other information: Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our mailing address is 625 Jamaica Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208. We are committed to financial transparency: additional information is on our website.