Support will help Willie Stewart conduct “Rhythms of Africa” programs in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in 2013.
FT. LAUDERDALE – Broward County-based Embrace Music Foundation has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the John S. James L. Knight Foundation to support two musical workshop and performance programs for at-risk children in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
“By involving parents and teachers in instruction, the workshops ripple out into the community with the message that music and the arts, if given the opportunity, play a decisive role in shaping young people,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for Knight Foundation.
The mission of Embrace Music Foundation is to restore, preserve, and fortify the impact of music — education, appreciation, and performance — in schools and communities, and to amplify its role in the development of children and families. “Rhythms of Africa / Music Around the World,” the organization’s flagship program, provides 14 – 20 hours of intense, hands-on musical instruction over a three month period, culminating in an on-stage performance with professional musicians.
“Rhythms of Africa” describes the movement of ancient rhythms sprung from the souls of vibrant cultures and carried from Africa to the Caribbean, South America and the New World. Under the direction of “Reggae Ambassador” Willie Stewart, founding percussionist and 23 year veteran of the legendary band Third World, this theatrical, inspirational, and educational production unites the entire community in a stirring celebration of music and culture. The first of these programs will feature 35 – 40 children from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, concluding with a concert at the Adrienne Arsht Center on January 12, 2013.
“Music has blessed me my entire life,” notes Willie Stewart, who serves as Embrace Music Foundation’s Chairman and guiding spirit. “We created the Foundation to give back, to share the transformational power unique to music, so that our children would never be without it, even as the schools diminish their focus on the arts.”
Willie Stewart with youth from his 2011 Summer Program
The Knight Foundation’s grant is the second awarded to support the program: a Knight Arts Challenge grant in 2011 supported a “Rhythms of Africa” program in Broward County. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.
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