This time last year, we were busy planning for continued programming growth, culminating in a great celebration of our 15-year milestone anniversary in 2020. How little we knew. Already, our nation was grappling with intense and debilitating polarization when COVID-19 hit. For the first time in 15 years, in-person gathering – the backbone of our programming and revenue stream – became impossible. Then, the pandemic turned political. And, in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others, the divisiveness ripping our country apart seemed insurmountable. The need for our work – repairing the fractures dividing communities worldwide – had never been greater. Yet, the economic impact of the pandemic on small businesses and organizations like Music in Common was staggering; the resources necessary for our work were quickly dissolving. And so, we did what we do best.
We responded creatively, with grit, determination and – most important – the support of contributors like you, turning relentless challenges into opportunities to pursue our mission in powerful, new ways. Specifically, we have taken exciting, necessary steps toward moving from a youth-serving organization to a youth-run organization.
Whether you have been with us for all 15 years of our journey so far, or you just joined us this past October during our Move-a-Thon, we are grateful to you for empowering us to do the important work we do. So, it is with that deep sense of gratitude and humility that we ask again for your support in whatever way you are able in these truly unprecedented times, to enable the continued expansion of our work through these compelling new initiatives:
Our MIC Fellowship program, launched this past July, providing hands-on leadership training for MIC alumni ages 21-25
The Bridge Sessions, a new online, multi-generational program developed and run by our Fellowship Cohort, offering a taste of our culturally immersive JAMMS and Amplify programs
Taking our JAMMS and Amplify programs online, which extends our reach internationally, and will continue to support our in-person programming when it is safe to resume them
The MIC Internship program, set to begin in January 2021, which will provide meaningful, experiential learning and leadership opportunities for MIC youth ages 14-21
In so many ways, Music in Common was built for intensely divisive times like these. A new Pew Research Center study shows that 77% of Americans believe the country is more divided now than before the pandemic* and 73% disagree on the best path forward. Yet, for 15 years, we have helped people discover common ground, even when it seemed none could be found.
Music in Common does the essential work of overcoming divisiveness, advocating for justice and peace in extremely powerful ways by combining music, dialogue, and collaboration – some of the most profound practices in building empathy. As a direct result, we ARE repairing fractures dividing communities, helping people envision and build a world where everyone belongs! – Trey Carlisle, Music in Common Senior Fellow, JAMMS and Amplify program alumnus
In short: we need you to support us in whatever way you can. Your partnership and investment in our work have never been more necessary.
With gratitude and renewed energy toward creating better times ahead,
Corey-Jan Albert Todd Mack Board President Executive Director
Like all small businesses who serve people face to face in a physical space, Music In Common is feeling the economic impact of Coronavirus in very real and direct ways. A donation today, particularly a monthly recurring one, will help offset the financial challenges and loss of funding from the pandemic.
I learned that I can truly stretch my musical and collaborative capabilities to a great level when I am motivated and in a great environment to do so. Amplify allowed me to develop my skills on bass, performing, collaborating, and respecting people of different backgrounds.