New York, NY—Sing for Hope has been approved for a $10,000 Challenge America grant to support the Sing for Hope Pianos. This project expands public art access for sites where pathways to arts access are generally denied due to income or accessibility.
The National Endowment for the Arts has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects across the country. Sing for Hope is one of 145 Challenge America grants included in this announcement. The Challenge America funding category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match.
“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like the Sing for Hope Pianos.”
“Sing for Hope is tremendously honored to receive this special NEA grant, and to be highlighted in such a great way for our work in communities. It is a great vote of confidence for our programs, which are dedicated to the belief that the creative arts help us learn, heal, and thrive. To receive NEA support at this time, as Sing for Hope continues to expand and deepen our work, is particularly meaningful for us, for our Artist Partners, and for our communities,” said Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Monica Yunus.
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Camille Zamora continued, “Sing for Hope is powered by a grassroots movement of artists who share their talent in communities to ensure that everyone has access. It’s about radical welcome, and about activating the creative spark that lives in all people. The Sing for Hope Pianos are playable, tangible symbols of ‘art for all,’ and we thank the NEA for their great support of this work.”
This grant from the NEA supports special programs during the Sing for Hope Pianos, the country’s largest annually recurring public art installation in which 50 artist-designed pianos are placed in public spaces each year. The grant-funded project includes a curated, accessible performance series and youth-directed group piano lessons. The project targets lower-income sites where pathways to arts access are generally denied, and it will prioritize active participation by community partners including nearby senior centers, nursing homes, youth groups, public housing community centers, and social service agencies.
The NEA is arguably the nation’s most important arbiter and amplifier for work promoting diverse opportunities for arts participation. Sing for Hope’s NEA grant pairs with transformational support from other foundations that share the values championed by the NEA. Highlighted among these is the International Foundation for Arts and Culture. In the words of Midori Miyazaki, International Executive Director at IFAC, “There has never been a more important time for us collectively, as global citizens, to bring hope and healing to those individuals and communities who are too often left behind. Sing for Hope does this each and every day in schools, hospitals, refugee camps, and public spaces worldwide, and IFAC is delighted to help ensure the future of this important work.”
Additional support for the program is provided by The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman, Sing for Hope Global Patron), Fosun Foundation, The Arnhold Foundation in loving memory of Sissy and Henry Arnhold, The Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation, Ann Ziff, The Carlo and Micòl Schejola Foundation, P Twenty-One Foundation, Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Marc Haas Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Kickstarter, Christie’s, New York State Council on the Arts, and more.