Vermont Youth Orchestra Association Receives NEA Art Works Grant For Community Outreach and Engagement

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association is one of 788 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The VYOA is recommended for a $25,000 grant to support Community Outreach and Engagement. The 788 Art Works grants total $24.81 million and support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

This grant will allow the VYOA to take a leadership role in promoting arts education in our region. The objective of this project is to increase the number of students involved with making and studying music regardless of financial or geographic limitations. To this end, the VYOA will use this funding to broaden our impact, engage school communities, and augment existing programming. Specific activities will include: sponsoring professional ensembles to perform in Vermont schools, a string masterclass series and instrument days (eg: oboe day) at the Elley-Long Music Center that are free and open to the public. The VYOA will also offer school tours, chamber music coaching, and the launch of a new program designed for beginning and intermediate wind, brass, and percussion players. Finally, the VYOA plans to partner with an elementary after school program to provide free beginning violin instruction to students throughout the coming school year.

“We are thrilled that our initiatives to strengthen music education in our region have been recognized by the NEA as deserving support. As the nation’s only top-tier youth orchestra organization serving a community smaller than 600,000 residents, we have a responsibility to be a strong and active partner to our music educator colleagues teaching in schools and privately,” states VYOA Music Director Jeffrey Domoto, adding, “This grant and the additional funding it will help secure will help us expand our reach into the community and increase exposure to music and opportunities for music study to an even broader range of students.”

The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications under the Art Works category for this round of funding, requesting more than $78 million in funding. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.

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