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White Hall Arts Academy receives coronavirus funding

Funds will support holistic music education programs for students

OW Staff Writer | 6/25/2020, midnight
The Lewis Prize for Music—a creative arts philanthropy—announced the recipients of..

The Lewis Prize for Music—a creative arts philanthropy—announced the recipients of its COVID-19 Community Response Fund. A total of $1.25 million will be awarded to 32 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations across the U.S. that have adapted and responded to the pressing needs of the young people they serve amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The White Hall Arts Academy in South L.A. received funding of $25,000 for its youth music education programs.

With a focus on private instruction and individual performer development, the White Hall Arts Academy (WHAA) mission is to bring out the unique qualities each student has to offer by increasing strengths and improving weaknesses.

WHAA has been voted "Top 3 Music Schools" in Los Angeles for three consecutive years. The organization was founded In 2011, when Tanisha Hall transitioned from her 15-year music industry career working with the likes of Tracey Edmonds and Chaka Khan to being a fulltime music educator.

“We are thankful and excited to be able to continue to teach, grow, and connect more students around the underserved neighborhoods of South Los Angeles and the global arts community at large,” said Hall. “The funds from the Lewis Prize are going to allow our efforts to expand exponentially and better support the very deserving students we serve.”

The Lewis Prize for Music invests in youth music organizations and their leaders to facilitate positive change through access to music education. Each of the COVID-19 Community Response Fund recipients provides young people with opportunities to learn, perform and create music while also serving their immediate and unique needs around food, transportation, mental health, and academics.

From Flint, Mich. to Montgomery, Ala. to Oakland, recipients cultivate leadership opportunities and safe spaces for the young people they support. Many of the recipients have budgets of less than $100,000 per year, and two-thirds are led by people of color. Through community-driven and youth-focused approaches, recipient organizations have become safe havens for the young people they serve during COVID-19.

“Access to music enriches the social fabric of our lives,” said Daniel Lewis, founder and chairman of the Lewis Prize for Music. “The organizations and leaders we have chosen to support in these times play a critical role in the lives and communities of the young people they support. In the face of unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and racial injustice across the country, Creative Youth Development organizations are devoting all of their resources to uplift both the creative and material well-being of young people and their families. We are thrilled to support these organizations—including the White Hall Arts Academy—and advocate for the entire Creative Youth Development field.”

With the assistance of the grant, the White Hall Arts Academy will be able to provide stability for those children whose lives have been fragmented as a result of COVID-19. The lessons and classes offer students a temporary escape from the hardships around them, as many of their family members have been required to stay home as nonessential workers, resulting in loss of income.

The WHAA offers a conservatory-level curriculum focusing on the fundamental skills of technique, composition, artistry and performance in music, dance and drama. Learn more at www.whitehallacademy.org

More information about the COVID-19 Community Response Fund recipients can be found at:https://www.thelewisprize.org. The Lewis Prize for Music will open its second annual Accelerator Award process in the summer.