City of Newport News Awards $65,000 to Soundscapes to Prevent Gun Violence
Soundscapes will provide its music education services for more middle and high school students with grant funding from the City of Newport News. Soundscapes was one of 19 local organizations to receive funds from the City as part of their new Gun Violence Intervention Program.
Soundscapes is a nonprofit youth development program in Hampton Roads that uses music instruction and performance to foster life skills in students from early childhood to early adulthood. The organization provides daily after-school music programs, a regional youth orchestra, and several week-long summer camps.
According to a recent survey from Christopher Newport University‘s Center for Crime, Equity, and Justice Research and Policy on community safety; mental health and unsupervised youth are two of the community’s top three concerns. Soundscapes directly addresses both by providing a safe place for young people to be every day after school, and by using music education as a tool to help them develop skills that can prevent them from engaging in risky behaviors. The new grant funding will allow Soundscapes to expand and enhance its after-school and out-of-school programs serving youth ages 13-24, including a speakers series and community building field trips and activities. Quality after school and out of school programs are proven to be beneficial to prevention and intervention for youth who may be in circumstances or situations that could lead to gun violence.
As Soundscapes’ Executive Director Carol Minter explains, “Soundscapes provides a safe place for youth to grow and develop, which is especially vital for communities suffering from violence. We are committed to improving the community we live in,, and this begins with the youth. Through music and creativity, students learn valuable life skills that will help them succeed and become engaged citizens.”