Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Settlement School receives big boost

In Philadelphia, where the need is great and resources strained, the news is doubly good when an organization wins an outside grant. The theory is, the award of local money means another local group needing it loses out, whereas money coming from a national source is a net gain into the community.

Settlement School receives big boost

In Philadelphia, where the need is great and resources strained, the news is doubly good when an organization wins an outside grant. The theory is, the award of local money means another local group needing it loses out, whereas money coming from a national source is a net gain into the community.

Which is one reason Settlement Music School is so tickled to have landed a $250,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The one-year award from the Lansdowne, Virginia foundation comes with possible renewals in years two and three.

The money will go to support students between the ages of 8 and 18 with "all-inclusive access to individual instruction and ensembles by offering financial aid to students in need," according to a Settlement statement. "Additional services will be provided, geared to the particular challenges lower-income students face when they study music seriously, including quality instrument loans and parental support."

About 40 percent of Settlement students at six neighborhood branches receive some form of financial assistance, said executive director Helen S. Eaton. That comes to about $2 million a year in aid.

Settlement hopes the new grant will help level the playing field.

Said Eaton: "We want to get the word out that we have all this financial aid available."

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

Reach Peter at pdobrin@phillynews.com.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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