Because the arts bring communities to life.
With $160K of support from ECCF’s Creative County Initiative, the Essex County Creative Nonprofit Resiliency Grant Program succeeded in helping forty-seven creative nonprofits weather the early economic devastation of COVID-19, and the CCI creative network continues to grow and strengthen as a result. The Essex County Artist Fund remains open for individual artists economically affected by COVID-19.
Non-Profit: Building Bridges Through Music Inc. – Lynn
Learn more: bbtmusic.org
Mission: The mission of Building Bridges Through Music, Inc. (BBTM) is to bring together diverse neighboring communities for the purpose of increasing cultural awareness and racial harmony by using music, dance and dramatic presentation as a multicultural educational tool. Building Bridges uses music as a tool for educating in different disciplines such as science, technology, language arts, engineering, math and other subjects. Now in its 20th season, BBTM serves as a vibrant nonprofit, multicultural Integrative Arts organization that is known in the community for developing creative and inclusive education thru music programs.
Key organizational goals of BBTM are to:
1. Lead by example using music as a catalyst to promote cultural proficiency.
2. Use Education through Music to prepare low-income young people to excel academically and socially for a more successful future.
3. Promote music as a universal language.
Our primary program, which is an after-school program, serves Lynn elementary, middle and high school youth, primarily those youth whose families are considered low-income based on government criteria and who would otherwise be unable financially to afford extracurricular activities such as our Integrated Arts Program without undue hardship. Our program not only provides them with education using music as the foundation but also provides much needed support for their parents who are mostly low-income and working low paying jobs to support them, as well as emotional support, case management and sometimes basics such as food and nutrition.
Based on our experience as care providers and educators, the children we target are prime for exhibiting “at risk” tendencies and/or behavior, when the learning process is hampered due to external factors, i.e., language barriers, socio-economic family constraints, and learning difficulties.
The work of BBTM is consistent with several of the goals outlined in the City of Lynn’s Consolidated Plan for 2016-2020 primarily in the areas of youth development for the large number of low-income youth in Lynn:
-Public Services – Our work is directly related to the City’s CDBG funding goal to include a broad range of programs and services including arts and culture; youth education, employment readiness and job training; and, cultural diversity.
-Minority Populations – The Lynn community speaks an estimated 37 different languages and includes a very large minority population. Between 2009 and 2013, the total minority population increased from 31% to 42% there is a high need for English as a Second Language classes, translation services and other efforts to facilitate dialogue and communications. Our work targets the diverse populations in Lynn with educational and cultural enrichment services.
– Youth – Our project includes a special focus on those youth who are “at risk” for low educational attainment, substance abuse, health problems, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Our work also targets primarily low-income youth from the estimated more than 19,000 youth in Lynn, most of who are low-income. Youth needs, our programs address needs such as educational support; violence and substance abuse prevention; career development; and recreational and cultural support.
Learn more about the Essex County Community Foundation