July Nonprofit Spotlight

Settlement Music School

Settlement Music School has been selected for July’s Nonprofit Spotlight!

Who They Are:

For more than 110 years, Settlement Music School has provided the Greater Philadelphia region with the highest quality education in music, dance, and the creative arts. They are one of the oldest and largest community schools of the arts in the nation. By providing financial aid to more than 60% of their student population, they ensure that arts education is accessible to all, from as young as 6 months to age 92. Today, Settlement has branch locations in Queen Village, Germantown, the Northeast, Wynnefield, and Willow Grove as well as a partnership branch in Camden, NJ and virtual branch, Settlement Music Online.

What kind of support does Settlement need the most right now?

They look to their supporters to help raise the $2.6 million they disburse every year in financial aid. Without this aid, many of their students would not be able to study with them. A gift toward financial aid will help ensure that our next generation will have access to high quality arts education. Of course, they especially appreciate any type of recurring gift, such as through donor advised funds. They encourage any donor to take lessons or a class with them to experience what they are supporting!

What is one thing you wish people knew about Settlement that they may not?

Settlement is a creative home for individuals of all ages, artistic interests, and skill levels. They have something for everyone. Beyond teaching lessons, they offer instrumental ensembles and choirs. They have a dance program with over 250 students. They have an early childhood music program and run an award-winning arts-integrated preschool in two of their branches. They are the largest provider of arts therapy services in the area. They run large ensemble programming in seven Philadelphia schools and a virtual branch, Settlement Music Online. To do all this takes a faculty of over 170, making them one of the largest employers of musicians in the region. Supporting Settlement is not just about supporting their students and their artistic journeys—it is also an investment in our city’s cultural vibrancy and the professional artists of our community.

What is the most unique donation Settlement has received?

A few years ago, one of their Adult Chamber Players, a violinist, lived in a senior community with a woodworking shop. The shop manager offered her a violin bow that had been hanging on the wall for years. She got the bow appraised, learned it was valuable, and put it in her will to give Settlement. This summer, that very bow will be on a plane with their CEO to Paris, where it will get its official valuation. When the bow is sold, the proceeds will support their endowment, which was the initial wish of the donor.

For more information, feel free to visit their website: settlementmusic.org.