The People’s Music School to Receive $25,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Chicago—The People’s Music School has been approved for a $25,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support our Chicago Community Programs. This project will increase access to tuition-free, high-impact, and immersive music education in Chicago’s underserved communities, including Albany Park, Back of the Yards, and the Greater South Side. The People’s Music School project is among 1,125 projects across America totaling more than $26.6 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2022 funding.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, including The People’s Music School, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

“I speak on behalf of everyone at The People’s Music School when I say we are proud of our students, and honored to give direction to their musical and educational journeys,” says President of The People’s Music School, Francis Graffeo. “We are propelled by the NEA’s endorsement of our mission and work. We work exclusively with students who need it most. The iconic NEA grant is the gold standard of arts funding, and opens doors to support from others who also embrace the life benefits that derive from the art and discipline of music.”

“We are honored to be recognized by the NEA in this way for the transformational impact our programming has on the communities we serve,” says Michael Buck, The People’s Music School’s Board President. “This is a fitting way to celebrate all that our students, parents, faculty, staff and volunteers have accomplished in overcoming the obstacles presented to them over the last two years. There has never been a more important time to ensure that music is core to our educational system and a gift that is passed along to all children.”

Believing that music is transformative and empowers the lives of youth, families,and communities, The People’s Music School strives to eliminate common barriers to arts access often faced by students in communities of greatest need. Their Chicago Community Programs, located in Albany Park, Back of the Yards, and Greater South Side, are central to students in Chicago’s South and West communities. These growing programs serve nearly 300 students in grades K-12, with 97% or more of students identifying as BIPOC. Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts will provide critical investments in The People’s Music School’s well-established pedagogical model to support long-term student progression and success.

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Media Contact: Ellie DePastino


(773) 649-9134

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