The Colorado Symphony received a $75,000 grant to help children tune up their composing skills.
The Dresner Foundation, a Michigan-based nonprofit focused on youth and family programs, awarded the grant to the symphony in late August. The symphony is using the funds to benefit its Very Young Composers program, which started in 2013 at the Cole Arts and Sciences Academy.
Very Young Composers places symphony musicians with third graders and works with those students through fifth grade. The program teaches students to create compositions without a formal background. Catherine Beeson, a viola player with the Symphony and director of community and education programs, said it helps students develop problem-solving skills and take risks in a safe learning environment.
“It’s a risk to play in our sandbox that they don’t know anything about,” she said.
Coreen Miller, COO and CFO at the symphony, said it takes around $25,000 to run Very Young Composers for all three grades in a single school. Student composers have performed finished works in their schools and in the Boettcher Concert Hall.
The grant will be split into three $25,000 increments, which will be used through 2020. The first part of the grant will be used this school year. Beeson said the grant will help expand the program to 2,000 students and four elementary schools.
On Sept. 6 the Boettcher Foundation announced 15 recipients for $690,000 worth of grants for community-enrichment projects. The organizations that received grants are working on projects focused on arts, culture, youth development and community, use according to a press release. Katie Kramer, president and CEO at the foundation, said in the release that the projects all help to bring people together.
“Each of these organizations is working hard to support the communities they serve, and we are honored to help advance their efforts.”
- Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus – $50,000 toward construction of the Adventure Forest and STEM education course
- Great Outdoors Colorado – $75,000 toward brick-and-mortar components of community projects meant to inspire outdoor recreation and wellness
- Museum of Contemporary Art – $75,000 toward renovation of the building to better meet programming needs
- VFW Post 1, Denver – $35,000 toward major renovations of the VFW Post 1 building to accommodate community enrichment and arts programming
- Boettcher Mansion, Golden – $25,000 toward construction of an education pavilion detailing the structure’s history
- Boulder Jewish Community Center – $50,000 toward construction of a new community and recreation facility with early childhood learning center
- Center for the Arts, Evergreen – $30,000 toward renovation of teaching, exhibition and performance space
- Roaring Fork Conservancy, Basalt – $40,000 toward construction of headquarters and programming facility
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs – $75,000 toward the construction of new exhibits and program space
- Dolores Senior Center, Dove Creek – $40,000 toward construction of a new senior and community center with a commercial kitchen
- High Valley Community Center, Del Norte – $35,000 toward a facility offering after-school programming and community classes
- Lone Cone Library District, Norwood – $50,000 toward construction of a new library and community center
- Kersey Community Center – $40,000 toward construction of a multi-use center with senior programming, a museum and a library
- Phillips County, Holyoke – $30,000 toward construction of a pavilion and education center at the county fairgrounds
- Poudre Learning Center Foundation, Greeley – $40,000 toward expansion of the nature and science learning center