Memphis Music Initiative & ELMA Philanthropies: A Case Story

Two students of the Memphis Music Initiative talk during rehearsal

In 2019, the Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Partnership engaged in a project to better understand the funding landscape of their field. To illustrate their findings, researchers connected with funders and CYD program leaders in four settings to better understand the dynamics of their partnerships.

The following case story showcases a partnership between a funder and a local CYD program, demonstrating the “funding skill” and “funding will” traits of the funder.

When two colleagues met years before working together, they knew they had a penchant for collaboration. When it came time for that collaboration, the ELMA Philanthropies program officer and founding executive director worked together to answer the question, “How do we best support leaders of color to transform their communities through music in the most underinvested communities in the country?”

The foundation only had to slightly adapt what they already knew from other grant-making to best support this new initiative. For the foundation this was part of a larger strategy to include cities like Memphis, which might otherwise be overlooked by other national funders.

Read the case story

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