VH1 Save The Music Foundation Launches New Partnership To Strengthen Music Programs In Public Schools

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Wyclef Jean sings to Queen Latifah
Wyclef Jean sings to Queen Latifah

Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Music is something that is important to everyone or at least something that helps us stay motivated during a long work day. VH1 has come together to help music programs in public schools at their 20th anniversary Gala.

VH1 Save The Music Foundation honored entertainment icon Queen Latifah as part of the Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Gala for her contributions to music and her commitment to providing low-income students with opportunities to pursue an education. A Newark native, Queen Latifah and the Foundation had recently announced a 5-year, $5 million project to rebuild music in 38 schools in the city. At the Gala, the Foundation also presented Steve Aoki with the Music Innovator Award for his impact on the music industry, his leadership as a philanthropist through the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, and his role as an advocate for music education. Toyota, which served as an event sponsor, presented DJ Khaled with the #ToyotaGiving Award for his role as a champion for music programs in schools and involvement as national spokesperson for VH1 Save The Music sister organization GET SCHOOLED.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to be a part of the amazing work that VH1 Save The Music does,” said Queen Latifah. “This is bigger than just teaching kids how to play instruments – it’s about using music to bring communities together and giving all children a shot at a brighter future. This work can’t stop until every child can access music programs as part of their education.”

DJ Khaled accepts an award
DJ Khaled accepts an award

Photo Credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

“I’m honored to be here to celebrate VH1 Save The Music’s 20th anniversary. Thank you for this award. Tremendous work has been done bringing back music programs to students across the country,” Steve Aoki said in his acceptance speech. “I’m proud to be included with a group of incredible musicians who give back to their communities. I don’t know where I would be without music. These incredible programs will help build the future of music and I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years of music technology will bring to kids!”

As if the night couldn’t get any better, VH1 Save The Music also unveiled a new grant program that will broaden the range of opportunities for students across the country and advance the Foundation’s mission to make music available in every public school in America. Introduced by Steve Aoki, the Music Tech Grant is planned as an investment in American public high schools to fund: the hardware, software, and musical instruments needed for audio engineering, recording, and production. DJ Khaled also announced that he and GET SCHOOLED would launch the Win More Music Campaign for the 2017-18 school year, in partnership with the Foundation. The campaign builds on the 2016-17 award winning “Khaled Keys campaign” and is expected to reach more than one million young people and will expose them to key components of the music industry, including composition, collaboration, production, copyrighting basic marketing, and social media. The high schools with the most engaged students will earn DJ Khaled – We The Best DJ Studio Labs in their school.

“Not all children in America are afforded the same chances to succeed, but we believe in the power of music to help students fulfill their potential. That’s why we are more committed than ever to bringing music education to students who need it most,” said Henry Donahue, executive director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. “Not only is music education proven to help students be more successful, but we believe it’s every child’s right to access music and art within their school and community. With the continued support of our partners in communities across the U.S., we can help make music an essential piece of every child’s education in the next 20 years.”

Steve Aoki and Joey Alexander
Steve Aoki and Joey Alexander

Photo Credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

“For three years it’s been a privilege for Toyota to partner with this incredible institution dedicated to providing music education to children, and to honor musicians who give back to their communities,” said Steven Curtis, VP of Media and Engagement Marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “VH1 Save The Music’s focus on both local action and national advocacy makes music education a real possibility for many students who otherwise would never have access to it and Toyota is proud to support in this mission.”

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