Mellon Foundation awards $3 million to Silkroad for arts education

Mellon Foundation awards $3 million to Silkroad for arts education

Silkroad, a Boston-based nonprofit founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, has announced a $3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of its arts and education programs and social impact initiatives.

The largest grant in the nonprofit's twenty-one-year history will support a four-year capacity-building effort aimed at launching new projects and expanding educational initiatives, with a focus on social justice and equity. The funding will support the artists who create, execute, and lead programming, including projects such as Home Within, an artistic response to the Syrian conflict, and Phoenix Rising, an artistic response to the COVID-19 pandemic; expand two flagship education programs — the Global Musician Workshop and the Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute — with the goal of offering the programs tuition-free; create an internship program that provides emerging administrators with training and professional development opportunities; advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training across the organization; underwrite compensation for artistic and administrative staff as well as contractors; and increase organizational sustainability by building a cash reserve.

"This grant is hugely meaningful at a time during which we are focused on re-envisioning Silkroad's artistic and education programs and growing our social impact work," said artistic director Rhiannon Giddens. "Thanks to the foundation, we will be able to realize our ambitious goals and sustain our commitment to social justice and equity through music and arts education."

(Photo credit: Silkroad)