A $4,000 grant and instrument award was delivered to Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary, 2270 E. 122nd St., Compton, as part of the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation’s 2014 Action for the Arts Grants.

“Music has the power to create opportunities and open doors,” said House of Blues Music Forward Foundation Executive Director Marjorie Gilberg. “We are dedicated to connecting emerging young artists with musical opportunities and resources through programs like our Action for the Arts Grants.”

Founded in 1993, the Foundation (formerly the International House of Blues Foundation) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering unity and creating opportunity for youth through music. The program educates youth about the role of music in social change; invests in music education; creates performance opportunities for emerging musicians; and inspires young people with practical experience in the music industry.

Music Forward programs help youth develop confidence, compassion, competence and character to successfully build connections with others and contribute positively to the world around them. Learn more at www.hobmusicforward.org.

“When starting an instrumental music program, the greatest challenge is obtaining all of the instruments necessary for the students,” said school principal Stephanie Richardson. “We strongly believe that providing students with musical instruction at our school will give [them] opportunities not previously available, and allow them to see the opportunities that exist beyond Compton.”

“Instruments are the tools of music,” said Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, executive director of Turnaround Arts California. “Access to high quality arts education has been proven to enrich student learning through the discipline, rigor and sequencing of music classes. Research shows that students who study music are more successful in school and enjoy learning more. We are grateful to the Music Forward Foundation for supporting music education at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Compton.”

The Roosevelt Middle School Orchestra perfromed at the ceremony.

Turnaround Arts is a program that uses arts education as a tool to help turnaround America’s struggling schools. Led by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, together with national and local partners, it brings high quality arts education resources to some of the lowest performing elementary and middle schools in the country. Learn more at http://turnaroundarts.pcah.gov/