D’Addario Foundation Director Suzanne D’Addario Brouder (at far right) with all grant recipients. George Quinlan, owner of Quinlan & Fabish, is in the back row at far left. Photo by Kristi Hughes.

The D’Addario Foundation, a 503(c) nonprofit that partners with transformative music education organizations, handed out more than $17,000 in grants to six Chicago-area music education nonprofits on Friday, April 28. The event was held at the Quinlan & Fabish Music Company location in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Owner George Quinlan himself was on hand to present the checks with D’Addario Foundation Director Suzanne D’Addario Brouder.

“Handing out grants to not-for-profit organizations like these is really my favorite part of my job,” Brouder said to the group in her opening remarks. “Our purpose as an organization is not only to support organizations like yours, but also to recognize and raise the visibility of the tireless and incredibly impactful work you are doing in expanding music education possibilities.”

Brouder added a personal thanks to Quinlan: “I want to take a moment to thank George Quinlan and the people at Quinlan & Fabish who have been partners of D’Addario for a very long time. I know the folks here at Quinlan feel very strongly about supporting music education as well, which is why we choose this location to host the presentation.”

The five organizations on hand to accept the checks included:

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s Jazz Academy Program. Since 1999, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic has been bringing its Jazz Alive Program to under-resourced schools on Chicago’s south and west side.

Chicago West Community Music Center. Since 1999, Howard Sandifer, a musician and music educator, and his wife, Darlene, have provided high-quality music education to low-income families on Chicago’s West Side where there are very few in school options.

DePaul University School of Music’s DePaul Community Music. CMD plays an increasingly important role in providing access to quality music instruction, and this grant goes to support their Adopt-an-Orchestra program.

El Valor’s Music Program. Founded in 1973 by Guadalupe Reyes, this multi-cultural, multi-purpose organization reaches thousands of families in the Chicago area, providing instruments and instruction to students ages 5 to 17.

Intonation Music Workshop. Since 2006, this organization has become a unique model for introducing kids to pop music, and it is one of the few afterschool options in underserved Chicago neighborhoods.

The People’s Music School. Founded in 1976 by Rita Simo, this is one of the only all tuition-free music education schools in the country. This is D’Addario’s 10th year of awarding support to this organization, which currently serves 600 students annually.

“As grant makers, we have pioneered a process of supporting grassroots efforts to bring music back into underserved communities, particularly in Illinois, where our education system is so challenged,” Brouder said. “Because of this, independent not-for-profits are more vital to widening the achievement and access gap for music and arts education.”

The D’Addario Foundation bridges gaps in the US education system by providing access to quality music education programs. Believing that music is part of well-rounded education, D’Addario invests in programs that plant themselves firmly into local communities and operate with the goal of having a long-term impact. Foundation-supported programs have a strong mentoring component that builds leadership skills. The D’Addario Foundation has dedicated millions of dollars over the last 30 years, making it possible for countless numbers of children to have a meaningful and long-lasting music education.

For more information, go to www.daddariofoundation.org.