Bloomingdale School of Music Awarded for Making Music Education Accessible


( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Bloomingdale School of Music Awarded $10,000 Grant by the New State Council on the Arts

ENSPIRE Contributor: Katie Doherty

The changes from remote learning have influenced schools to resume in-person classes because of the pandemic. Bloomingdale School of Music has weathered this storm like many. They have remained committed to still serving the student body, whether it be in-person or virtually, and providing accessible music education. As a result, they have recently received a grant award of $10,000 from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in order to support the recovery of the nonprofit arts and culture sector. 

NYSCA has awarded more than $80 million after New York State’s pledge to invest $105 million in the arts for FY2022. This grant will support Bloomingdale School of Music’s mission in making music education accessible to all and remaining true to its mission statement: commitment to excellence and “fostering a diverse and inclusive community rooted in connection and self-expression.” 

Courtesy of Michelle Tabnick

Bloomingdale School of Music was founded in 1964 and is dedicated to the belief that music should be accessible to all. Their belief is that music has the power to change lives and no matter one’s economic background, race, religion, ability level, or gender, everyone has the right to equal access to high-quality music education. They are a music-driven community center and welcome all to join and learn about music from dedicated and professional faculty.

Erika Atkins, the Executive Director of Bloomingdale School of Music, says in response to the school being granted this award “We are so thrilled to receive this validation of our commitment and work.” 

Governor Kathy Hochul says that “these awardees represent the best of what New York’s vibrant communities have to offer and with this funding in hand, they will be able to not only continue their creative and inspiring work but help spur revitalization in their own backyard as well.” 

Courtesy of Michelle Tabnick

Atkins also recognizes the strength and commitment it takes for students and staff to fight for education during a tumultuous time: “As we’ve gradually returned to sharing spaces for in-person learning, I would like to commend the commitment of Bloomingdale’s students and faculty to gather in-person and virtually, to connect and to share the joy of music. I am so proud to be part of this community and I’m looking forward to the ways in which this grant will allow us to serve and grow even further.” 

Governor Hochul recognizes the importance of the arts sector and says in response to granting this award that “The arts have long been a critical sector in our economy, and as we continue to rebuild a stronger New York, it’s essential we do all we can to help this industry thrive once again.” 

Courtesy of Michelle Tabnick

Mara Manus, the Executive Director of NYSCA, says that “[NYSCA] applauds Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature for their responsive investment of $105 million for the nonprofit arts and culture sector.” She continued on to wish congratulations and excitement in seeing the change Bloomingdale School of Music will bring: “2022 will continue to bring change and Bloomingdale School of Music will play a vital role in the renewal of our state’s economy and creative ecosystem. On behalf of the entire NYSCA team, we wish to extend our sincere congratulations on your award.” 

Following the same excitement of Manus, Katherine Nicholls, the Chair of NYSCA, says that “arts and culture are crucial to our state’s health, and Council recognizes the dynamic impact of NYSCA grantees on the well-being of all New Yorkers.” 

Courtesy of Michelle Tabnick

Even in the face of a three-year-long pandemic that has overturned many students’ and faculties’ lives, it shows that people still come together in order to learn and do the things they love. In a pandemic that has taken a lot from us, we still see hope in how music and the arts can bring people together – even if it’s done virtually. 

Bloomingdale School of Music remains committed to its mission even in a pandemic: making music accessible to any and all. It gives us all hope that even in an uncertain future and education so impacted by a devastating pandemic, people reinforce how they are an integral part of institutions that are dedicated to their mission. Although this coming year still looks uncertain in a lot of ways, there is hope that creativity, art, and music still persist through it all. 

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