Ask any musician or music lover what music has done for them, and you’re bound to get a bountiful answer about the myriad ways it has enhanced his or her life for the better. It’s no surprise, then, that Play On, Philly! credits after-school music programs as some of the most important assets for a well-rounded education. Inspired by the El Sistema program started in Venezuela in the 1970s, this Knight Arts grantee strives to make significant, sustainable impacts on children through the power of music education.
Established at the West Philadelphia St. Francis de Sales school in 2011, and expanding ever since, Play On, Philly’s POP Academy set out to bring the tools of music-making and music appreciation to underprivileged children who were at an acute loss for creative programs. With Pennsylvania–and especially Philadelphia–school districts quickly running out of funding, artistic and music-based programs are often the first to get cut from the curriculum. But where others saw trouble, Play On, Philly! founder Stanford Thompson saw opportunity.
Read the full article on the Knight Foundation's blog.