LaPlace Elementary School wins grant for its first music program in a decade
Toyota and VH1 Save The Music have completed their national music festival activation and social media campaign to benefit music education. The campaign came to a close last weekend as Toyota presented LaPlace Elementary with a grant that will fund an entire instrumental music program for the school. This will be the first time in over a decade that the New Orleans area elementary has been able to provide music education to its students.
The grant was achieved through an interactive festival activation and social media campaign implemented at music festivals nationwide including Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Nocturnal Wonderland, Life is Beautiful and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. The activation engaged with festivalgoers through a life sized Whispering Willow tree on the festival grounds. Participants were asked to write what music means to them on a leaf, hang the leaf on the tree, take a photo, and post to social media with the hashtag #ToyotaGiving. For each social media post, Toyota donated $1 to VH1 Save The Music.
With the five festival run complete, Toyota was able to fulfill a $30,000 donation to VH1 Save The Music, a grant substantial enough to restore a musical instrument program for the entire school. LaPlace Elementary School was selected as the grant recipient for a multitude of factors. Not only is it the largest elementary school in the Parish, servicing more than 1,000 students, but the school had no music education program in place. With this grant, LaPlace was able to hire a music teacher to implement an instrumental music program that will now thrive with the instruments and equipment purchased and donated by the Foundation.
At a school wide assembly on Friday, Oct 30, executives from Toyota and VH1 Save The Music met with the Principal and new music teacher and previewed the new music curriculum. Genre-defying artist Santigold treated the students to a live performance.
“Music has given me the opportunity to explore the world and connect with people internationally,” said Santigold. “My music studies helped me turn my passion into my living and gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams and nurture my creativity. I am proud to support the VH1 Save the Music campaign and the students of LaPlace Elementary in New Orleans. All of our children deserve and need music education.”
“Toyota is honored to help further music advocacy with a grant to support the creation of an instrumental music program at LaPlace Elementary School,” says Steve Appelbaum, National Manager of Engagement Marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “A curriculum that includes music is invaluable in igniting the passion and curiosity that encourages thinking outside of the box. Music invites innovation – and innovation changes the world.”
“We are so grateful for the Toyota’s commitment as well as the participation of Santigold and all of the outstanding artists who lent their support and efforts in the music festivals and social media campaign,” says Paul Cothran, Executive Director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. “Toyota’s leadership and generosity in this highly successful campaign made it possible for the Foundation to provide a full package of instruments, restoring for the students of LaPlace Elementary School access to the exceptional benefits of music study, creative expression and opportunities for brighter futures.”
“We are grateful that so many people would come together to help a school most probably haven’t even heard of,” says Superintendent Kevin George. “We would like them to know that our students are making music again and we are laying a foundation that we hope will follow them throughout their lives.”