Meet our Honoree: The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation

As we unite #ChicagoInHarmony at this year’s BIG NIGHT, The People’s Music School will honor The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, whose committed support has empowered our students and championed our school for many years.

The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation invests in community-based organizations across Chicago and beyond. Their focus on youth services and direct service providers shows just how important community is to the work they do. “We made a strategic decision to fund organizations that are on the ground providing direct service to people in their communities, recognizing that people living and working in the communities know best what the community needs,” says President of the Feinberg Foundation, Janice Feinberg.

Community is one of The People’s Music School’s core values. It’s at the heart of what we do. “The way The People’s Music School has moved its programs into under-resourced communities speaks to the commitment of the school to serve those young people,” says Janice. And being able to provide access is key: “It’s important that People’s is a free music school. It gives so many young people an opportunity for music education they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Janice knows the value of music education inside and outside the classroom. “I’m a believer in the science of music and the brain,” she says. “The rigor of intensive training is good for young people. It strengthens many other skills–not just brain development but perseverance and commitment.”

As for their current work, The Feinberg Foundation has been focusing investments in Chicago’s Greater Englewood community. Janice manages the Englewood Data Hub, which brings together non-profit organizations providing child and youth services in the Greater Englewood community to foster dialogue, collaboration, advocacy and community building. 

We thank The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation and the Feinberg family for their dedicated support and for helping us unite #ChicagoInHarmony!


The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation is a private family foundation committed to effective community and cultural investments through its philanthropy.  As a social impact investor, the Feinberg Foundation is dedicated to supporting community-based organizations that improve the lives of people in under-resourced communities in Chicago and Los Angeles, serve the needs of children and youth, and organizations that strive for a more equitable and racially just society.  The Feinberg Foundation focuses on investment — rather than “charity” – to support programs in the areas of early childhood and youth development, arts education, housing, hunger, access to health care, as well as public media, nonprofit news organizations and the Chicago arts communities.

The Foundation was established in 1969 by brothers Louis, Samuel, Reuben and Bernard Feinberg, to honor the memory of their parents. Today, The Foundation is directed by Janice Feinberg, her brother, Joseph Feinberg, and Joe’s wife, Rhonda Feinberg.  Together they have significantly expanded the scope of the Foundation’s philanthropy and offered their knowledge, skills and experience to organizations in need. 

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