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Lexington-based Central Music Academy selected as one of 50 finalists for $10,000 National Arts Award

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its cultural partners – the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services – has recognized downtown Lexington’s Central Music Academy as one of 50 outstanding youth after-school arts and humanities learning programs in the United States.

According to John Abodeely, Deputy Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Finalists were chosen from a pool of 342 applications from 46 states, Washington D.C., and two U.S. territories.

The Central Music Academy (CMA) was selected for its work providing free private music lessons to financially disadvantaged children, and the organization’s selection as one of the 50 Finalists “distinguishes it as one of the top arts- and humanities-based programs in the country.”

Halle Shannon, senior, performing Robert Schumann’s The Two Grenadiers, during the 2017 CMA Spring Student Recital Series. This fall, Halle will be attending UK, on a full scholarship to study biochemistry, though she intends to stay involved with music (Photo Provided)

The Central Music Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose instructors give free private music lessons to kids who can’t afford them. Since its inception in 2004, CMA has helped more than 900 youth become their best selves through consistent mentoring and dedicated instruction from highly qualified teachers. CMA students witness a growth in their confidence and abilities in music, in schoolwork, and in their daily lives.

One-hundred percent of CMA students have graduated from high school and 98 percent have gone on to college.

The NAHYP Award recognizes excellence in programs that “open new pathways to learning, self-discovery, and achievement for America’s young people”–particularly those from underserved communities. The NAHYP application process is a rigorous one, through which applicants must provide evidence of the following: high-quality programming in the arts and/or humanities, professionally-trained educators who provide a consistent impact on youth development (e.g., increased leadership skills and self-confidence), and the integration of prevention strategies to address program goals.

If CMA is selected as a NAHYP recipient, the program will receive a $10,000 one-time award and an invitation to accept the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Currently, CMA is in the midst of a challenge grant. Through June 30, a private foundation is matching donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $30,000, for any new donors.

CMA’s scholarships are funded entirely from grants and private donations, and there are currently over 60 students on the organization’s waiting list. Students who qualify for a scholarship can take individual lessons throughout the year in cello, guitar, violin and other strings; flute and other woodwinds; horn, trumpet and other brass; and voice, piano, and percussion.

From Central Music Academy Communications

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