The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will receive $1 million in federal funding to support its music education programs. The RAC-supported organization made the announcement in April. The funding comes from the Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Education Innovation and Improvement Fund.
The SLSO will use the funds to ensure ongoing access to music education resources for students, teachers and schools throughout the St. Louis region and across the country. The funding will also help the SLSO expand its digital education platforms—an area of programming which has seen exponential growth in the past two years, engaging and connecting teachers, students, and families worldwide.
“It’s always exciting when one of our grantees is recognized on a national level for their dedication, passion and impact on their community,” said Vanessa Cooksey, CEO and president of the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. “Arts education is so crucial for ensuring a full creative life for every St. Louisan.”
For more than 100 years, the SLSO has served students and teachers through a variety of educational outreach programs, from in-school programming, concerts at Powell Hall, and most recently through a portfolio of on-demand digital resources, events, and series. A leader in music education, the SLSO
reached students and teachers in 42 states and 15 countries in 2021; introducing six new virtual programs that connected with more than 65,000 students in 565 schools. Learn more about education programming at SLSO.
Marie-Hélène Bernard, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra President and CEO, said, “This award will support the SLSO’s music education programming, a cornerstone of the organization’s mission since 1921. Music education is vital to learning success and has the power to help build connections between people, ideas, and the greater world.”
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt was a key figure behind securing the funds for the SLSO. “Music education helps students develop skills that benefit them in all
aspects of their lives and academic careers,” Senator Blunt explained. “The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s education programming brings together history, STEM education, art, creative writing, and so much more. It’s an incredible resource for students, parents, and teachers across the country. I am proud to support the SLSO’s education efforts in the government funding bill and I hope they’ll be able to continue and expand these programs well into the future.”