Funding will support 317 Main youth music education programs during COVID-19

The Lewis Prize for Music​ — a creative arts philanthropy — announced this week the recipients of its COVID-19 Community Response Fund. A total of $1.25 million was awarded to 32 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations across the U.S. that have adapted and responded to the pressing needs of the young people they serve amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. ​317 Main Community Music Center, based in Yarmouth,​ received funding of $50K for its youth music education programs.

317 Main offers a wide range of opportunities for children and teens both at the center in Yarmouth and across southern Maine through low cost and tuition-free partnership programs . When the pandemic took hold, the staff quickly collaborated with partners and students to develop creative opportunities for young people that could work well in a remote learning environment including online songwriting intensives, open studios, digital music making and a biweekly teen open mic.

“The Teen Open Mic has been a wonderful opportunity for me to grow creatively, be inspired by others, and share music and support with my peers- all things I feared losing in this pandemic,” shared Terra Gallo, a Teen Open Mic regular.

“We knew it was especially important for young people to have creative outlets during the pandemic,” said Chris Moore, 317 Main’s Director of Music Education. “We wanted to empower them to engage their creative voices and transform the world from a place of isolation to a place of connection.”

The Lewis Prize for Music invests in youth music organizations and their leaders to facilitate positive change through access to music education. Each of the COVID-19 Community Response Fund recipients, including 317 Main, provides young people with opportunities to learn, perform and create music while also serving their immediate and unique needs around food, transportation, mental health, and academics.

From Flint, Michigan to Montgomery, Alabama, to Oakland, California, recipients cultivate leadership opportunities and safe spaces for the young people they support. Many of the recipients have budgets of less than $100,000 per year, and two-thirds are led by people of color. ​Through community-driven and youth-focused approaches, recipient organizations have become safe havens for the young people they serve during COVID-19.

“Access to music enriches the social fabric of our lives,” said Daniel Lewis, Founder and Chairman of the Lewis Prize for Music. “The organizations and leaders we have chosen to support in these times play a critical role in the lives and communities of the young people they support. In the face of unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and racial injustice across the country, Creative Youth Development organizations are devoting all of their resources to uplift both the creative and material well-being of young people and their families. We are thrilled to support these organizations — including 317 Main– and advocate for the entire Creative Youth Development field.”

Much of the grant money for 317 Main will be used to bolster and expand Partnership Programs in under-resourced communities. Projects include after school digital music programs with the Portland Public Library and the Boys and Girls Club, a lullaby project for young mothers with Wayfinder Schools, and week-long Songwriting Intensives with Casco Bay High School students.

“This funding will be game-changer,” said Alicia Phelps, 317 Main’s Director of Community Partnerships and Special Programs. “Having the ability to substantially or fully fund programs allows 317 Main to better address the specific needs of our partnering organizations and the students we serve, and create musical experiences that are accessible, engaging, and fun!”

“The Lewis Prize for Music is committed to supporting young people and the adults in their lives who give them love, safety, and a musical voice,” said Dalouge Smith, CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music. “These 32 grantees work to break down barriers of inequality every day. They also do

more than offer programs and services to young people, they include them in decision-making, which is needed now more than ever.”

The grants range from $25,000 to $50,000. Recipients include:

  • ●  317 Main Community Music Center ​(Yarmouth, ME)
  • ●  A Place Called Home ​(Los Angeles, CA)
  • ●  Beyond the Bars ​(Philadelphia, PA)
  • ●  Beyond the Natural​ (Baltimore, MD)
  • ●  Cambridge Community Center​ (Cambridge, MA)
  • ●  Center of Life​ (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • ●  Crescendo Detroit ​(Detroit, MI)
  • ●  Enriching Lives Through Music​ (San Rafael, CA)
  • ●  Hyde Square Task Force ​(Jamaica Plain, MA)
  • ●  FAME ​Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education​ (Bowie, MD)
  • ●  Memphis Music Initiative ​(Memphis, TN)
  • ●  MEOW Cares, Inc. ​(Montgomery, AL)
  • ●  Music Beyond Measure ​(Montclair, NJ)
  • ●  Neutral Zone​ (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • ●  New City Kids ​(Jersey City, NJ)
  • ●  Pico Youth & Family Center​ (Santa Monica, CA)
  • ●  Play on Philly​ (Philadelphia, PA)
  • ●  ROCA Music Program ​(Brownsville, TX)
  • ●  RYSE Youth Center ​(Richmond, CA)
  • ●  Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective ​(St. Louis, MO)
  • ●  Stax Music Academy ​(Memphis, TN)
  • ●  Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village ​(Flint, MI)
  • ●  The Choir School of Delaware ​(Wilmington, DE)
  • ●  The Heartbeat Music Project ​(Crownpoint, NM)
  • ●  The HUBB​ (Newark, NJ)
  • ●  The Jessye Norman School of the Arts, Inc.​ (Augusta, GA)
  • ●  The TETRA​ (Detroit, MI)
  • ●  White Hall Arts Academy​ (Los Angeles, CA)
  • ●  Youth Empowerment Project​ (New Orleans, LA)
  • ●  Youth on Record​ (Denver, CO)
  • ●  Youth Radio​ (Oakland, CA)
  • ●  ZUMIX​ (East Boston, MA)

More information about the COVID-19 Community Response Fund recipients can be found at:https://www.thelewisprize.org​.


About The Lewis Prize for Music


The Lewis Prize for Music​ believes that music in the lives of young people is a catalytic force to drive positive change in our society. It​ p​ artners with leaders in diverse and vibrant communities who invest​ ​in young people by providing access to safe, inclusive spaces where they can build powerful relationships through music.

The organization is the brainchild of philanthropist Daniel R. Lewis, who has spent the last 19 years focusing on philanthropic efforts in the social and musical arts field, including founding the Miami Music Access Fellowship, serving as the founding chairman of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami Residency/Miami Music Association, chairman of the Spring For Music Festival and chairman of The Management Center. Learn more at​ ​www.thelewisprize.org.​

About 317 Main Community Music Center

317 Main Community Music Center is a thriving music education organization in Maine with a reputation for providing fun, accessible, quality music instruction and performance opportunities for people of all ages and musical abilities. Our mission is to encourage creative expression, personal growth, and community connection through music.

Now in our 16th year, 317 Main has worked hard to respond to the creative needs of our communities and draw upon the power of music to bring people together. We now reach more than 1,300 people from 40 towns in Maine with weekly programming every year, including 400 who participate in free programming through our Partnership Program with schools, libraries, and other community organizations. For more information please visit 317main.org

Lewis Prize Release