Hyde Square Task Force Receives $50K for Music Programming from Lewis Prize for Music COVID-19 Fund

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Hyde Square Task Force is receiving $50,000 for its youth music education programming thanks to the Lewis Prize for Music.

The Lewis Prize for Music's COVID-19 Community Response Fund is distributing $1.25 million to 32 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations across the U.S. that have adapted and responded to the pressing needs of the young people they serve amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hyde Square Task Force’s Musicians in Community is one of three Afro-Latin arts teams that youth in grades 8-12 can join at HSTF. Musicians in Community is offered year-round at no cost to participants, and youth receive training in areas such as music theory, ear training, songwriting, improvisation, music history, stage performance, and overall musicianship. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, programming has occurred virtually. HSTF has also been helping youth and their families meet basic needs by distributing gift cards and other cash assistance to those who have experienced negative financial impacts because of COVID-19.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by the Lewis Prize for Music to receive funding through its COVID-19 Community Response Fund. It will allow us to continue meeting the urgent needs of our youth while ensuring that they continue to have access to music as a powerful creative outlet during this challenging time,” said Celina Miranda, Hyde Square Task Force’s Executive Director.

The Lewis Prize for Music invests in youth music organizations and their leaders to facilitate positive change through access to music education. Each of the COVID-19 Community Response Fund recipients, including Hyde Square Task Force, provides young people with opportunities to learn, perform and create music while also serving their immediate and unique needs around food, transportation, mental health, and academics.

From Flint, Michigan to Montgomery, Alabama, to Oakland, California, recipients cultivate leadership opportunities and safe spaces for the young people they support. Many of the recipients have budgets of less than $100,000 per year, and two-thirds are led by people of color. Through community-driven and youth-focused approaches, recipient organizations have become safe havens for the young people they serve during COVID-19.

“Access to music enriches the social fabric of our lives,” said Daniel Lewis, Founder and Chairman of the Lewis Prize for Music. “The organizations and leaders we have chosen to support in these times play a critical role in the lives and communities of the young people they support. In the face of unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and racial injustice across the country, Creative Youth Development organizations are devoting all of their resources to uplift both the creative and material well-being of young people and their families. We are thrilled to support these organizations -- including Hyde Square Task Force -- and advocate for the entire Creative Youth Development field.”

HSTF is now preparing for a 6-week virtual summer session for 75 youth, including those who are part of MIC and HSTF’s dance and theatre teams. Through this opportunity, youth will have ongoing access to music, as well as education and civic engagement-focused programming. HSTF also plans to continue making gift cards available for those families who need the additional support.

“The Lewis Prize for Music is committed to supporting young people and the adults in their lives who give them love, safety, and a musical voice,” said Dalouge Smith, CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music. “These 32 grantees work to break down barriers of inequality every day. They also do more than offer programs and services to young people, they include them in decision-making, which is needed now more than ever.”

The grants range from $25,000 to $50,000. Below is the full list of Creative Youth Development organizations receiving grants:

● 317 Main Community Music Center (Yarmouth, ME)
● A Place Called Home (Los Angeles, CA)
● Beyond the Bars (Philadelphia, PA)
● Beyond the Natural (Baltimore, MD)
● Cambridge Community Center (Cambridge, MA)
● Center of Life (Pittsburgh, PA)
● Crescendo Detroit (Detroit, MI)
● Enriching Lives Through Music (San Rafael, CA)
Hyde Square Task Force (Jamaica Plain, MA)
● FAME Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education (Bowie, MD)
● Memphis Music Initiative (Memphis, TN)
● MEOW Cares, Inc. (Montgomery, AL)
● Music Beyond Measure (Montclair, NJ)
● Neutral Zone (Ann Arbor, MI)
● New City Kids (Jersey City, NJ)
● Pico Youth & Family Center (Santa Monica, CA)
● Play on Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
● ROCA Music Program (Brownsville, TX)
● RYSE Youth Center (Richmond, CA)
● Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective (St. Louis, MO)
● Stax Music Academy (Memphis, TN)
● Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village (Flint, MI)
● The Choir School of Delaware (Wilmington, DE)
● The Heartbeat Music Project (Crownpoint, NM)
● The HUBB (Newark, NJ)
● The Jessye Norman School of the Arts, Inc. (Augusta, GA)
● The TETRA (Detroit, MI)
● White Hall Arts Academy (Los Angeles, CA)
● Youth Empowerment Project (New Orleans, LA)
● Youth on Record (Denver, CO)
● Youth Radio (Oakland, CA)
● ZUMIX (East Boston, MA)

More information about the COVID-19 Community Response Fund recipients can be found at thelewisprize.org.