I’m honored to announce that The SONG Project has received a grant from The Mockingbird Foundation for songwriting groups with inner-city girls in Philadelphia, PA! Please feel free to read their announcement here. The SONG Project was 1 of 12 grantees selected out of 1059 applicants, making this one of the most competitive grants in the nation! Couldn’t be happier!
The Following is a Press Release for the award. Feel free to pass it along!
The SONG Project to Provide Songwriting Groups to High-risk Youth and Women in Kensington
Received Mockingbird Foundation Grant to Offer Alternative Pathways to Expression and Healing Through the Arts
PHILADELPHIA, PA, March 30, 2015 — The SONG Project, through a $4,200 grant from the Mockingbird Foundation, is providing two 10-week songwriting groups to at-risk girls from the Kensington neighborhood, giving them a safe space in which to share and transform their experiences and amplify their voices through song. With this grant at least 16 girls will be given the opportunity to gain the skills to express themselves through music, build community with one another, and strengthen their confidence to become leaders in their communities.
The SONG Project gets a feel for the student’s particular interest in the first week and uses a student-oriented approach, tailoring the materials being taught to the student’s favorite songs and artists. The fundamental skills of songwriting and guitar playing, which can be applied to all genres of music, are taught throughout weekly group sessions. Often the completed group songs are in a folk/pop or rap/hip-hop genre.
“It can be very difficult for women and girls who have been oppressed to feel safe in sharing their own stories. Songs can tackle human suffering in a way that feels safe and manageable” said Natalie Sara, the Boston-based singer/songwriter leading the SONG Project. “Through this process, participants build community, and each individual is empowered to tell, record, and perform her story in a secure and nurturing environment that allows for healing, growth and creative transformation.”
The SONG Project is making a transition in the summer of 2015 from Boston, Massachusetts to the inner-city Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The SONG Project’s short-term goal is to provide at least 12 songwriting groups to high-risk youth and women in Philadelphia, with the hope of expanding to double or triple this programming through collaboration with additional community-oriented group music teachers. The songwriting groups will be taught on-site at partner organizations that serve local youth. Anticipated partners include Covenant House PA, Youth Service, Inc. and Kensington CAPA.
About The SONG Project
The SONG Project introduces Songwriting to women and girls who have been marginalized by poverty, homelessness, violence, or trauma, as a tool for empowering them to tell their stories of oppression, resilience and hope in a creative and transformative way. The SONG Project is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.
About The Mockingbird Foundation
The Mockingbird Foundation, run entirely by volunteers, supports music education for children by fundraising through Phish-related projects. The Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, was organized by Phish fans in 1996, formally incorporated in 1997, and has since then distributed $836,593.40 through 272 grants in 45 states.