East Boston Music Programs Receive Anonymous $1.65 Million Donation

Photo: James Rojas / WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Music programs within Boston Public Schools is going to get a big financial boost and undergo an expansion, officials announced on Monday at Curtis Guild School in East Boston.

BPS Superintendent Mary Skipper announced that an anonymous $1.65 million dollar donation made through EdVestors will enable the school district to expand and pump funds into art opportunities for its students, especially in music education programs.

Since 2009, the non-profit organization EdVestors and BPS have been partnered in their "BPS Arts Expansion," an endeavor that has led to nearly 17,000 more enrolled in arts education than when the collaboration began. Officials say that since then, the number of BPS teachers employed through the district has nearly doubled.

WBZ's James Rojas spoke to Emily Dawson, a music teacher at Curtis Guild School, who said the donation will be distributed through the school over the course of three years, giving a helping hand to hundreds of music students.

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"I love teaching at the Guild— but due to scheduling constraints, I've seen some of our upper-grade students 45 minutes once a week, and with this extra support of the private lessons, of the after school support, our students are going to get so much more music to help them blossom and thrive and to really increase that pipeline up to high school," Dawson said.

BPS Executive Director for the Arts Anthony Beatrice says progress will be noticeable in the coming months.

"We're starting in January— I'd say we're most excited about private lessons because that's really going to be a gap closer. We're going to be bringing together all of our fifth and sixth graders all the way up through high school for an All-East Boston Band that will be going to a festival followed by Canobie Lake Park, which will be very exciting, it's an awesome opportunity for us to grow," Beatrice said.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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