New funding for Youth on Record will support holistic music education programs
during COVID-19


The Lewis Prize for Music — a creative arts philanthropy — announced Tuesday, June 16th, the recipients of its COVID-19 Community Response Fund. A total of $1.25 million will be awarded to 32 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations across the U.S. that have adapted and responded to the pressing needs of the young people they serve amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth on Record received funding of $50,000 for its youth music education programs and is the only organization in Colorado to be awarded this grant.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Youth on Record (YOR) has made the following programmatic modifications and adaptations in order to continue serving youth:

In-school programming: All in-school programs were offered virtually using either Schoology or Google Classroom. All YOR Teaching Artists were trained in the use of these platforms and uploaded pre-recordings for all classes and coursework for their students. Additionally, Teaching Artists hosted live, virtual check-in’s and “office hours” for students to receive additional academic or prosocial support. YOR also added lessons that center the mental and emotional needs of students in these unusual circumstances.

Out-of-school programming: YOR’s three primary OST programs – Open Lab, FEMpowered and the Fellowship – have also transitioned to remote/virtual programming. In an effort to increase engagement, both Open Lab and FEMpowered are being offered more regularly and YOR recently increased its marketing campaign to better reach students.

The Lewis Prize for Music invests in youth music organizations and their leaders to facilitate positive change through access to music education. Each of the COVID-19 Community Response Fund recipients, including Youth on Record, provides young people with opportunities to learn, perform and create music while also serving their immediate and unique needs around food, transportation, mental health, and academics.


From Flint, Michigan to Montgomery, Alabama, to Oakland, California, recipients cultivate leadership opportunities and safe spaces for the young people they support. Many of the recipients have budgets of less than $100,000 per year, and two-thirds are led by people of color. Through community-driven and youth-focused approaches, recipient organizations have become safe havens for the young people they serve during COVID-19.

“Access to music enriches the social fabric of our lives,” said Daniel Lewis, Founder and Chairman of the Lewis Prize for Music. “The organizations and leaders we have chosen to support in these times play a critical role in the lives and communities of the young people they support. In the face of unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and racial injustice across the country, Creative Youth Development organizations are devoting all of their resources to uplift both the creative and material well-being of young people and their families. We are thrilled to support these organizations — including Youth on Record — and advocate for the entire Creative Youth Development field.”

In an effort to offer enhanced virtual coursework experiences throughout the week, Youth on Record is offering additional professional development and coaching for traditional educators on trauma-informed care and strategies to keep students engaged with virtual learning environments.

YOR has increased its communication with and outreach to the parents, families and caretakers of program participants to help increase home-based accountability and healthy decision-making.

“The Lewis Prize for Music is committed to supporting young people and the adults in their lives who give them love, safety, and a musical voice,” said Dalouge Smith, CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music. “These 32 grantees work to break down barriers of inequality every day. They also do more than offer programs and services to young people, they include them in decision-making, which is needed now more than ever.”

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