D’Addario Foundation Launches Bridge Fund

The D’Addario Foundation has announced the launch of the Bridge Fund, a new initiative focused specifically on bridging the gap between access to music education and the Black community, which has been historically ignored and too often denied access to these life-changing programs.

For over 40 years the D’Addario Foundation has fought to overcome the decimation of music education in America’s schools by supporting innovative community music programs that not only restore access to music education by breaking down all barriers to entry, but nurture youth development, mentorship, and leadership.

Looking at the landscape of music education funding over the past twenty-five years, we can see that budget cuts disproportionately impact school districts that serve students of color, immigrant students, and low-income communities.

“The damaging consequences of COVID has only exacerbated the need to address the enormous gap in educational resources and opportunities,” says D’Addario Foundation Executive Director, Suzanne D’Addario Brouder. “We honor the values and needs of communities by launching the Bridge Fund that very intentionally identifies and supports innovative, immersive, and accessible music programs in Black communities. In particular, we seek programs that take place after-school and are available multiple days per week - elements that very clearly contribute to higher levels of engagement and academic achievement as an actionable solution to "bridging" this gap and giving every student a chance to reach their highest potential.”

Programs supported through this fund include the Sphinx Performance Academy (Detroit, MI), Cleveland Institute of Music's Musical Pathway Fellowship (Cleveland, OH), Buffalo String Works (Buffalo, NY), Atlanta Music Project (Atlanta, GA), HARPS Foundation (Richmond, VA), Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's Nouveau Program (Cincinnati, OH), Project STEP (Boston, MA), The Roots of Music (New Orleans, LA), Soulsville Foundation’s Stax Music Academy (Memphis, TN), West Point School of Music (Chicago, IL), and many more.

One of the newest grantees who recently was awarded support from the Bridge Fund is West Point School of Music's Urban Music Makers program. It is a Black-led and Black serving band and steel drum program engaging urban youth through free in-school and after-school music instruction and performance. Their goal is to build bands at multiple schools that students will be proud to call their own.

100% of every donation goes directly to funding these programs; administration costs are absorbed by the D’Addario & Company. All programs have been curated over decades based on their ability to deliver three things: inspiring a child’s musical ability, lifting their self-worth, and elevating their academic performance. Contributing to the Bridge Fund can help lead children on a path to higher education and a more aspirational future.

To learn more and donate to the Bridge Fund, visit: ddar.io/BridgeFund.PR.