Our Vision

We believe that when we place the arts at the intersection of innovation and community we can catalyze social change and propel economic growth in a city. In Boston we’re building a world-class youth orchestra in the ‘hood to develop grit in the lives of urban youth. We are also creating a paradigm shift away from mediocrity and towards excellence through music taught with an emphasis on artistic excellence. For so many young people the arts are their only connection to the American dream and can serve as a bridge to the sciences and so many other pathways out of poverty. In 2013 we launched the Roxbury Youth Orchestra in one of Boston’s most resilient neighborhoods, Roxbury. Students come up to 5 days a week for 3 hours each day after school and learn 3 of the toughest instruments on the planet: The violin, viola, and the cello; but the main goal is social change. In the last two years we have seen increases in academic performance and self-esteem, the creation of positive peer relationships, and incredible increases in focus and determination. The outcomes for these young people won't be the ones we have written down on paper but will be birthed from the experiences gained over time in an environment that is safe and saturated with the proper tools to succeed.

The Impact

Students who are involved in the arts are more likely to graduate, earn a bachelor's degree, and are more likely to be civically engaged as adults. Through music we want them to learn they can work hard at something – succeed – and feel confident as a result. We hope having struggled and succeeded at learning to play an instrument, they will struggle and succeed in other areas of their lives. As a result they will develop a resilience that helps them make good choices, and realize their dreams. Our program addresses the following issues:
• Lack of access to quality after school programs
• Lack of access to the arts
• Bridging the gap between the Arts and Academic success