RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, the John William Pope Foundation announced the winner of its first statewide competitive grant, the Joy Pope Memorial Grant in the Arts. The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will receive $100,000 for a youth orchestra instrument lending library. The grant is a one-time award. The Pope Foundation received 28 applications for the Memorial Arts Grant, representing communities from across the state.
“The project submitted by the Fayetteville Symphony was unique and an excellent use of one-time funds,” said John Hood, president of the Pope Foundation. “We hope this new initiative by the symphony will inspire other arts organizations as they work to find innovative ways to serve their communities.”
The symphony’s idea for a lending library grew out of the realization that many students weren’t able to practice their instruments and/or didn’t have access to renting one. “Many of the students are eager to participate [in music education], but can’t afford the opportunity,” said Christine Kastner, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Symphony. “This grant will be transformational for the Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra and for music education in Southeastern North Carolina.”
The symphony will lend instruments to families that cannot afford rental fees and will lend instruments that are not readily available in the area, such as the ‘A clarinet.” In return, students will commit to participation in the youth orchestra, which will offer performance opportunities and coaching by the symphony’s professional musicians. Currently 50 students participate in the youth orchestra, representing Robeson, Hoke, Moore, and Lee Counties in addition to Cumberland County.
“We truly appreciate all of the arts organizations who applied for this grant,” said Joyce Pope, vice president of the Pope Foundation. “We know the Fayetteville Symphony will make an impact on many lives for years to come, and we are appreciative of their efforts and work to deploy the instrument library.”
Joy Pope was the wife of the late entrepreneur and philanthropist John William Pope, the foundation’s namesake. She was a dedicated patron of arts and human service organizations and served as president of the foundation from 1986-1992. The John William Pope Foundation is a Raleigh, North Carolina grant maker whose giving has totaled more than $100 million since its founding.