Savannah Music Festival (SMF) recently received a $75,000 Grant from The William Randolph Hearst Foundation in support of its Musical Explorers program. Developed in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI), SMF’s Musical Explorers is a comprehensive music education program reaching more than 10,000 K-2 students and more than 325 teachers at schools throughout the greater Savannah area during each academic year. Students and teachers take an exciting journey through a variety of musical cultures relevant to our region including blues, gospel, jazz, zydeco and ring shout. They also experience international musical traditions such as Cuban salsa music, opera, German art song and the music of India.
This innovative and meaningful program was created in 2014 in response to decreased access to music education opportunities for our community’s youngest scholars, as well as a lack of creative arts education professional development opportunities both inside and outside the classroom for their teachers. To further remove existing barriers to an arts-integrated education and worthwhile professional development opportunities for teachers, Savannah Music Festival offers the program at no cost to students or their families, the teachers or the schools. Musical Explorers is funded entirely through philanthropic-minded individuals, corporations and foundations – like William Randolph Hearst Foundation – that share SMF’s vision to create a lasting and measurable impact by engaging young citizens and educators.