The Grammy Museum has announced a Campaign for Music Education with the goal of raising $3 million to $5 million for their educational programs. The funds raised over what is envisioned as an 18-month campaign will provide free admission to the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles for everybody up to age 18 and for all college students with ID and expanded access to their music education programs across the country.
Michael Sticka, president and CEO of The Grammy Museum, told Billboard that the museum’s goal is to raise “anywhere from $3 million to $5 million – and this money goes directly to the education programs. As of [Oct. 7] we’re at about 25% of the top end of that goal, so there’s quite a bit of momentum here.”
That money has come from foundations. The museum is now starting to reach out to labels, publishers, artists, promoters and more for additional funding. “We’ve started some of the conversations with the industry,” Sticka says.
How’s that going? “No one has said no yet,” he replies.
Has anyone in the industry said “You make a lot of money from the Grammy telecast and from the MusiCares person of the year gala. Why don’t you fund your programs yourself?”
“We always hear that,” Sticka acknowledges. “I think there’s a general confusion out there of how everything is structured. The Grammy Museum Foundation is separate from the Recording Academy, so we don’t make any money off of the telecast. We’re separate from MusiCares, so we don’t see any of the money that comes in from person of the year. That goes to their important mission. We’re all part of the same family, but we are a separate entity.
“We do receive funding from the Recording Academy. They provide a healthy percentage of our operating budget, then we go out and we raise money. This money [that we raise] doesn’t go to salaries or overhead because the Academy helps subsidize that. This money goes directly to the education programs.
“Our goal with this campaign is very simple, to do our best to democratize music education by expanding our reach into underserved communities where access to our museum and educational programs could make a huge impact, and ultimately foster the next generation of music’s creators and leaders,” Sticka said in a statement.
The funds raised through the Campaign for Music Education would more than double the number of students who have access to the Grammy Museum’s galleries each year, and would expand their education and community programs which have served more than 435,000 students through programs such as Grammy Camp and Grammy in the Schools.
Here are four more statistics provided by the Grammy Museum:
- 100,000+ students have been impacted through the Grammy in the Schools programs, which have been a part of the Grammy Museum since its integration with the Grammy Foundation in 2017.
- More than 1,700 students have attended Grammy Camp.
- In 2019 (pre-pandemic), the Grammy Museum “positively impacted” more than 20,000 students.
- All told, the Museum has impacted more than 478,000 students through all of its educational programs since it opened its doors in 2008.
In addition, the monies raised will support many other educational aims. “[The goal is] to provide the funding to sustain and scale our education programming,” Sticka says. “We have our Summer Sessions – we did three of those this year – songwriting camps for high school students. We have Grammy Camp. We have our Industry ‘Sesh’ in Music Production one-on-one; Music in Civil Rights. There’s a lot of programs that we do both about music education and to teach about the music industry. This funding is going to grow all of that.”
The current admission rate for students and youth at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live is $12.
There are no current plans to make admission free to college students and kids at the other Grammy Museum location in Cleveland, Miss., or at a Grammy Museum Experience affiliate in Newark, N.J., or a Grammy Museum gallery in the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Sticka expresses gratitude to the five artists who lent their names to help get this campaign off the ground. “Lending their name gets this out there in a very powerful way,” he said. For now, all they are doing is lending their names, but Sticka says he hopes for more involvement from each. “We’ll ask [them] to participate in various things based on their schedules.”
Sticka notes that all five have a history of some kind with the Grammy Museum, none more than Eilish, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and occasionally attended the Grammy Museum’s educational programs with her brother, Finneas, before their careers took off. Since 2019, when Eilish’s debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? became a blockbuster, they have returned as guest speakers. In the last four years, the siblings have won a combined 15 Grammy Awards.
“I was able to visit the Grammy Museum a lot when I was growing up,” Eilish said in a statement. “We saw so many amazing artists perform that I never would’ve been able to see otherwise. I love the exhibits and the whole experience. I am excited to help kids who are the same age as I was to have free access to this magical place and all that it has to offer in music education and experiences.”
The four other co-chairs also released statements, which were shared by the Grammy Museum.
“Access to music education has the power to not only shape music’s next generation, but also provides a creative outlet that is crucial to a child’s development,” Lipa said. “It gives students the opportunity to excel creatively, as well as in their academic performance beyond music. I am eternally grateful to the music educators that touched my life, they were my foundation to creating this incredible journey I am on. I’m proud to be co-chair of the Grammy Museum’s Campaign for Music Education in their work to democratize and expand their education and community programs.”
“Music is such an important form of art and communication there’s not even a single day I don’t feel grateful that I could study music since I was nine years old,” Rosalía said. “I wouldn’t be who I am if I couldn’t grow up being a musician as i did. I feel that music makes the world a warmer place. Everyone deserves the opportunity to have access to music education. Being a part of this campaign is important to me because now kids of all different backgrounds will be able to learn in a supportive environment.”
“I am so excited to chair this campaign alongside Billie, Dua, Bruno, and Rosalía,” Mendes said. “Music education should be available to everyone so I am honored to be a part of spreading the Grammy Museum’s reach and cultivating music’s next generation.”
Mars was succinct in his statement: “Bruno love the kids.”