Project Music, Inc.

Change Through Music

Stamford, CT   |  http://www.ProjectMusic.org

Mission

Project Music advances the critical life skills of Stamford youth through free music education, free instruments, mentoring and performance opportunities. The program is provided at no cost to students most in need of access, inspiration and opportunity. Project Music is an after-school music program designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Stamford, CT city neighborhoods, where 90% of student participants are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch in school. Inspired by the El Sistema movement, Project Music serves students four afternoons each week, providing an intensive after-school musical environment for them as well as deep relationships with their musical ensemble and teachers.

Ruling year info

2016

Program Director

Gabrielle Molina

Artistic Director

Garrett Mendez

Main address

1127 High Ridge Rd Ste 167

Stamford, CT 06905 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-2610342

NTEE code info

Music (A68)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our work addresses the educational inequities of students in Stamford CT. President Obama's Committee on Arts and the Humanities conducted an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education. Their landmark study, Reinvesting in Arts Education, clearly shows the link between arts education and achievement in other subjects. All forms of art - from music to photography to dance - prepare children for success in the workforce not simply as artists, but all professions. In his foreword to the report, Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education states: "Education in the arts is more important than ever. In the global economy, creativity is essential. Today's workers need more than just skills and knowledge to be productive and innovative participants creative experiences are part of the daily work life of engineers, business managers and hundreds of other professionals. To succeed in the future, America's children will need to be inventive, resourceful and Imaginative."

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

El Sistema Academy

Since 2014, PROJECT MUSIC has partnered with local public schools and community centers, including Boys and Girls Clubs, to bring high-quality after school programming to Stamford’s under-resourced neighborhoods. El Sistema Academy students participate in a variety of music classes 4 days per week, for 90 minutes each day. Every student develops a broad skill set, choosing and learning to play their instrument of choice. With weekly private lessons and both small group instruction and ensemble practice all students take part in performances in and around around the community, helping to develop an identity as a musician and developing social skills, self esteem, creativity, independence and learning the skills public performance demands. The students are divided into three levels, based on achievement in both musical ability and social skills.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children who have the ability to understand and comprehend communication

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Multiracial people, People of African descent, People of Latin American descent

Related Program

El Sistema Academy

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Project Music students learn to play an instrument, read and compose music. All these activities are embedded in our curriculum. Due to COVID-19, numbers of students is reduced

Number of children who have the ability to seek help from and respond appropriately to adults

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children

Related Program

El Sistema Academy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

An important element of our curriculum is the intentional inclusion of Social/Emotional learning to support the ability for students to advocate for themselves

Number of educators who have opportunities to attend programs offered by professional organizations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Teachers, Artists and performers

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our goal is to add regular professional development for all our teaching artists and staff. El Sistema USA provides an annual national conference. We hope all our TA will attend in the future.

Number of administrators and staff who plan and experience professional development activities together

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

10-15 teaching artists, administrators and staff will plan and participate in PD activities together.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to provide access to a high quality music education to every student in Stamford CT. We believe the power of music to change lives should not be limited to only those who can afford the high cost of renting or purchasing an instrument and can pay the high cost of music lessons. By providing mentoring and music education for free to our students, we help reduce the inequity in educational access. We also work to educate about the diversity in music composition and performance to give our students the opportunity to learn about their musical heritage and to delve into other cultural and historic elements within music education.
PROJECT MUSIC pursues the following goals:
• Enrich lives and build community via high-quality music instruction and frequent performances.
• Create a loving and nurturing environment, affirming each student’s pursuit of excellence via the collective joy of making music.
• Provide its students with exposure and access to professional artists in order to ignite a passion for excellence.
• Foster a lifelong understanding and appreciation of the inherent beauty in music and art.
* Imbed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in everything we do.
• Build audience appreciation for the arts and for the potential of young talent to blossom.
• Celebrate the value of collaboration via meaningful community partnerships.
• Instill traits required to build impactful lives of dignity, contribution, and strength of spirit.

We work from outreach to graduation, to include our students in the quest for excellence, both in their musical education and for their personal development. We do this by providing daily opportunities for students to practice their craft, rehearse with their peers, work one-on-one with their instructors and have many opportunities to perform. We are working to increase our financial capacity to grow our leadership team and gain additional support for marketing, communications, and fundraising. During this Pandemic year, we've added intentional Social/Emotional learning to our programming, providing our students with another resource for building self esteem, identity growth, and collaborative problem solving skills
Our goal is to provide access to excellent, free after-school music programming for every student in Stamford who desires it. Providing this programming addresses the need for excellence in afterschool programming and the need for safe, accessible after school child care.

Building organizational capacity has been the focus of our work and development planning for the past year and a half. We have successfully established an effective process for managing our finances with a CFO, we've created full time leadership positions for an Executive Director and Program Director and we are develop programming for a new Middle School focused model as well as a High School Leadership/Mentoring model. Our hope is to acquire our own "home" facility in order to build on the El Sistema model of a Nucleo - a literal nucleus of programming and operations from which we will be able to grow additional school based pilot programs to feed into this new Home.

200 students have studied an instrument in our El Sistema Academy since 2014
16 students have earned seats in the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras
8 students have completed 5 full years with PM
21 students have completed 4 or more years with PM
33 have completed 3 or more
Students from 20 Stamford schools served (18 SPS, plus SCSE and Waterside School)
PM has collected over 150 instruments to provide to students who can't afford them
PM students have participated in over 120 performances since 2014

50% of PM students speak a language other than English at home
37% identify as black/african american
62% identify as hispanic/latinx
89% are in the free/reduced price lunch program at school

100% of PM students learn to read music
100% of PM students participate in performing music ensembles
100% of PM students have access to homework assistance through our partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, Chester Addison Community Center, Yerwood Center, and Toquam Tiger Academy after-school programs

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Our organization

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Project Music, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Project Music, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 8/27/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Daniel Morris

Belpointe Asset Management

Term: 2020 - 2022

Daniel Morris

Michael Cooney

Angelica Gorrio

Charles Spaulding

David Tate

Domenick Pastorello

Dorothy Ghiorzo

Ephriam Fink

Ethan Schwartz

Fritz Chery

Hugh McGoran

Joseph Destin

Laureen Mody

Sara Seide

Ximena Valasquez

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/27/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/24/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.