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Bloomingdale Improves Access by Funding Learning for Students of Color

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May 16, 2016

The New York Amsterdam News highlighted the Bloomingdale School of Music (BSM) for its financial commitment to supporting arts education for students of color. Noting that white families on average have 16 times the wealth of black and Latino families, the article points out that BSM allocates “fourteen percent, nearly double that of similar organizations, of its annual operating budget to funding scholarships, which mostly target students of color.”

BSM work starts from the premise that the arts is essential for developing lifelong skills. “Unfortunately, politics doesn’t see it that way right now,” said Erika Floreska, the school's new executive director. “All studies show and all science shows that students who get exposed to music activate both the right and left [sides of] the brain. It builds skills and discipline that help in math, reading, science, and creativity.”

According to Amsterdam News, “out of the nearly 650 weekly students [at BSM]—including adults—about 25 percent are black and Latino. The nonprofit school has been committed to offering accessible and affordable private and group lessons to its students regardless of age, ethnicity, or economic status since its humble beginnings in the basement of the West End Presbyterian Church. It was there the founder, David D. Greer, began offering lessons for as little as 50 cents in 1964.”

To continue to fund scholarships for students of color, BSM holds fundraising events that are specifically tailored for this purpose. Furthermore, partnerships with local organizations such as Columbia University have led to ongoing scholarship support.

Read the full article here.

About Bloomingdale School of Music


Bloomingdale School of Music, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, serves music students of all ages and economic levels from Manhattan and all boroughs of New York City in its three programs. The After School and Weekend Program is Bloomingdale’s core offering of private study in one of twenty-five instruments and over twenty classes for children and adults in both classical and jazz disciplines. This program involves people of all ages from babies through seniors and all musical interests.
 

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