Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Announces Over $500,000 in Grants for PlayUSA

In its seventh year, PlayUSA supports community partner organizations to ensure equitable access to instrumental music education programs for K–12 students nationwide


The 2021–22 grant recipients for PlayUSA include 19 organizations from across 17 U.S. states — for a total of $510,000 in grants. Along with the financial support, grantees will join a system of groups dedicated to providing wider access to music education for young people.

Through PlayUSA, partner organizations will receive consultation with Carnegie Hall staff, professional development for teachers, access to online resources, monthly webinars, and an annual meeting to allow partners to convene and learn from each other.

The 2021-22 grantees are:

Buffalo String Works (Buffalo, New York)

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (Chicago, Illinois)

Community MusicWorks (Providence, Rhode Island)

El Sistema Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Empire State Youth Orchestra (Schenectady, New York)

Enriching Lives Through Music (San Rafael, California)

Hawaii Youth Symphony (Honolulu, Hawaii)

INTEMPO (Stamford, Connecticut)

Juneau Alaska Music Matters (Juneau, Alaska)

Kidznotes (Durham, North Carolina)

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

Music for Life (New Orleans, Louisiana)

MYCincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Opportunity Music Project (New York, New York)

Scrollworks Music School (Birmingham, Alabama)

Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (Seattle, Washington)

Soundscapes, Inc. (Newport News, Virginia)

Tocando (El Paso, Texas)

Trenton Music Makers (Trenton, New Jersey)

"Over the past seven years, PlayUSA has built a diverse network of thoughtful leaders in the music education field who bring high-quality instruction and music-making to communities across the country," said Sarah Johnson, Carnegie Hall’s Chief Education Officer and Director of the Hall’s Weill Music Institute in a press release.

"We are especially proud of the many innovative ways that partners pivoted during the pandemic and went above and beyond to provide musical learning opportunities and support to students nationwide. We look forward to collaborating and learning from one another again this season."

PlayUSA also announced that the PUBLIQuartet will be its first ensemble-in-residence for the new season. Committed to performing new works and bolstering emerging composers, the string ensemble will collaborate with partner organizations for professional training and music performance.

Inspired by the PUBLIQuartet's original work "Reflections on Beauty," PlayUSA will collect biographical narratives from the musicians they serve across the country — sharing their artistic responses to living history through their project "Reflections on Resilience." This program sets out to ask each partner organization: "How do we best share stories? Who gets to write history?"