Today is Give Big Day all over. And unfortunately you probably won’t see us listed on the give big websites as we just became official. But I wanted to put this out there for those that want to know what we hope to do, and for those that would feel led to give.
A major need for any non-profit is money. It is our desire for the first year to reach, teach, and relate to (develop meaningful relationships) with at least 30 students through scholarship funding. Why meaningful relationships? Because we value people and community, and we believe that music, while wonderful, beautiful, and fun, is meaningless apart from people and community.
At a tuition rate that averages just $20 a week tuition for the 48 weeks of the TIA teaching year this is just under $29000 ($28,800). As director, my wife and I will personally raise at least $4300 over the course of the first year or give that much of our own towards the academy mission. Our hope is that our board members will make the same goal, and that the rest of our supporters and friends will help us find those that would give one-time donations or small monthly donations to make this happen.
Who will receive scholarships at the academy? We will use the official Section 8 Housing Income Limits as a guide for offering tuition. This information is updated annually and specific to Thurston County, where most of our students reside, and where our studio is. If you qualify as low, very low, or extremely low according to that list, and we have the scholarship funds available, we would love to be able to serve you or your family through the help of scholarships to study at the academy.
According to this guide, and as funds are available, our sliding scale tuition rates are as follows:
Low Income: 50% scholarship
Very Low Income: 80% scholarship
Extremely Low Income: 100% scholarship
Additionally, we seek to find community organizations and community members that might believe in this mission and seek to sponsor students and families. This is a great way to develop meaningful relationships and lifelong friendships by the way, and we would love to speak with you about what this looks like and how to do that. You can give a gift that keeps on giving!
Besides money, we also have some other pressing needs:
We will need instruments. It goes without saying that if we are to teach music to people in these income brackets they will not have the funds for their own instruments or to rent one either. This by the way is one key reason why even public school students will need our help. I have personally spoken with Section 8 housing managers that have verified this truth: children that live in these income brackets often do not have the opportunity to study music because they cannot secure an instrument.
We need music stands. We have wire stands that are doing their job right now. But the good quality standard stands like this are so much better, and can last a lifetime. Our wire stands may make it through the summer, but they will need to be replaced soon.
In addition to our desire to teach music to the low-income bracket families of the South Puget Sound, we also have a goal to create a program to teach music to the homeless, those in addiction recovery programs committed to recovery, and wounded veterans, especially those suffering from phantom pain. Your gift can help make this happen.
Can you give to the cause of music and community today?