SoNA just concluded another successful season, and it looks like music lovers will be enjoying the symphony for years to come thanks to more than $300,000 in grants awarded to the organization this week.
The symphony received the funds to help further its arts education programs in elementary schools, and to “support artistic excellence within the symphony.”
The money comes in the form of three awards: A three-year, $263,750 grant from the Walton Family Foundation and a $33,440 Arts in Education grant from the Arkansas Arts Council, both awarded in July; and a $22,620 Quality of Life grant from the Walmart Foundation awarded in May.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued support of these important funders as we enter an exciting phase of growth and development,” said SoNA Executive Director Matthew Herren. “Support for more in-depth education for teachers and students in area classrooms and excellence within our own organization help us increase our impact and ensure our longevity in the community that we’re so privileged to serve.”
The Walton Family Foundation grant is the second multi-year grant in support of SoNA’s ImagiMusic program, which partners with underserved Northwest Arkansas schools, in accordance with state Common Core standards. The grant will also fund ImagiMusic development workshops for educators, providing them with innovative strategies for using music to teach students. In addition, the grant will help SoNA provide competitive compensation to retain musicians of the highest caliber, and aid in the organization’s development and capacity building efforts.
The Arkansas Arts Council and Walmart Foundation grants will also support SoNA’s ImagiMusic program, which serves approximately 800 students in Benton and Washington counties.
SoNA’s 2016-17 season will begin in December with six mainstage performances at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.