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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Neighborhood Music School Establishes Fund for New Refugees

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Neighborhood Music School Establishes Fund for New Refugees

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Feb 15, 2017

Neighborhood Music School (NMS) in New Haven, CT, recently announced the establishment of a new endowment fund, the “Welcome to the Neighborhood Fund for New Refugees,” which will support arts education opportunities at NMS for refugee families settled in the greater New Haven region.

The fund will also encourage refugee musicians to perform and offer instruction in traditional music from their countries of origin at NMS.

The fund was created last fall by a generous anonymous donor and is supporting two students from refugee families so far this year:  a middle school student taking flute lessons with faculty member Elaine Thoma and participating in NMS’s DELTA Initiative (Developing & Empowering Leadership Through the Arts), and an elementary school student participating in the After-School Arts Academy (ASAA) “Musical Warrior” program.

Since the Trump administration’s travel ban was announced – sending many refugee families and those who work with them into crisis – another major donor has stepped forward to contribute to the fund and provide support for a young man from a newly settled Syrian family who wishes to take percussion lessons at NMS, a place described by this donor as exemplifying joy, friendship, and community.

“The fund is an opportunity to benefit both NMS and IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services), and especially the refugee children,” says the anonymous donor who set the fund in motion, adding that the fund was inspired by the story of a community of musicians in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, playing and performing with refugee musicians from Syria. “People who love Neighborhood Music School and wanted to give children a chance to heal through music came up with this idea.”

Learn more about NMS and their programs here.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.