Grant Awarded to Symphoria for Education Program

A total of $355,568 awarded to nonprofits in Madison and Onondaga counties.

June 24, 2014 – The Central New York Community Foundation awarded an $18,000 grant to Symphoria to bring an innovative multi-media orchestra program to four local middle schools. This is the Community Foundation’s first Community Grant to Symphoria, which was established in 2013 to serve as the region’s new source for orchestral music entertainment and education.

symphoriaforfbReductions in public education funding have led to fewer opportunities for students to experience the arts through traditional field trips. In response to these dynamics, Symphoria is taking its talent on the road to host in-school presentations that connect students with live musical performance.

Symphoria’s Sound of Nature program includes multimedia elements and encourages audience participation, making it an engaging program to bring to the middle school audience. Students in the Chittenango, West Genesee, and Fabius-Pompey School Districts, along with a fourth district that is being identified, will experience this dynamic program.

Sound of Nature combines nature-inspired music with educational and interactive components tailored to the environment and climate of Central New York. The program provides teachers with classroom activities that expand upon elements witnessed during the performance. In addition, a video produced by SUNY ESF faculty members will explain to students the science connected to the nature-themed music they had just heard.

“A core value of the symphony is to demystify and enhance access to live orchestral music – especially for young people,” said Catherine Underhill, Symphoria Managing Director. “By creating the context for young people to have a positive experience with live orchestral music, we aim to illustrate the value of live performance and build the audience of the future, without which orchestras cannot survive.”

This project is an expanded version of a pilot program launched by Symphoria during the 2013 school year in the LaFayette and Liverpool school districts. This year’s program content and classroom activities were designed with input received from the music educators that participated previously.

Symphoria aims to engage and inspire the Central New York Community through orchestral and ensemble performances, as well as education and outreach initiatives. The orchestra is comprised of more than 50 musicians. By the completion of its first year, it had acquired approximately 1,300 season subscribers and more than 34,000 in overall attendance.

“Community outreach is a vital piece of Symphoria’s mission as it seeks to build new and lasting connections within the region,” said Peter Dunn, Community Foundation President and CEO. “We are happy to support this program to help share music and knowledge with our community’s youngest residents.”

The Community Foundation also awarded additional grants to programs in the fields of arts & culture, education, environment, health, human services and civic affairs:

American Farmland Trust received $15,000 to establish the Local Agriculture and Land Leadership Institute to educate local farm owners and community leaders on the land use and economic development issues that impact agriculture.

American Red Cross of Central New York received $20,000 to implement its Community Resilience Strategy, designed to increase civic participation in emergency preparedness.

Children’s Consortium received $39,459 to expand its Nurturing Parenting program, which assists drug-dependent parents with developing self-awareness, empathy, family communication and disciplinary alternatives.

Farmers Market Federation received $5,000 to establish the Mohawk Valley Farmers Market Managers Alliance, which will work to educate managers on market development, community relationship building, marketing skills and techniques for improving sales and profitability.

Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society received $35,000 to purchase new computers as they install a web-based case and document management system that will centralize data pertaining to its free legal services cases.

Image Initiative received $5,000 to conduct strategic planning in an effort to identify opportunities to increase the organization’s capacity to mentor at-risk young women.

Learning Disabilities of CNY received $20,000 to improve client service by installing a new telephone system.

Matthew 25 Farm received $20,000 to purchase farm equipment that will increase its yield of fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution at Central New York food pantries and soup kitchens.

Onondaga Earth Corps received $20,500 to purchase a truck that will transport its expanded youth volunteer force to ongoing conservation activities, including tree planting and maintenance of green infrastructure sites.

PEACE, Inc. received $30,000 to purchase snowplow equipment for winter maintenance of its parking lots, frequented daily by those utilizing its childcare, mentoring, nutrition, financial, housing and family resource services.

Rescue Mission Alliance received $100,000 to expand its emergency shelter in Syracuse, addressing a growing need for overnight services that provide a safe and secure alternative for the homeless.

Skaneateles Library Association received $10,366 toward a kiosk that will be part of a satellite station at the Skaneateles YMCA, which will allow library card holders to pick up and drop off books from the Onondaga County Public Library catalogue.

Town of DeRuyter received $5,000 to install a gazebo to be used for community events at the Genevieve D. Stanley Civic Center.

Westcott Community Center received $12,243 to upgrade its computer lab, which is utilized by its after-school, tutoring, adult learning, literacy and senior training programs.

These grants were funded by the Community Foundation’s unrestricted and field-of-interest funds.

About the Central New York Community Foundation

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of permanent charitable endowments for the betterment of the region.  The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $172 million. It awarded $9.5 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations and since its inception has invested nearly $130 million in the community. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and businesses through the administration of nearly 650 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen local nonprofits and address the region’s most pressing challenges.


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