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Carnegie Hall’s PlayUSA supports partner organizations across the country that offer instrumental music education programs to low-income and underserved K–12 students. These organizations receive funding, as well as training and professional development for teachers and arts administrators, in addition to guidance from Carnegie Hall staff to help address challenges and build on best practices.

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2018–2019 Partners

New Partners

Buffalo String Works (Buffalo, New York)
Buffalo String Works (BSW) is a creative grassroots program that serves refugee students in Buffalo, New York, inspired by the international El Sistema model which cultivates students to be agents of social change. Founded and led by local musicians, BSW is a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality music instruction on violin, viola, and cello, with students hailing from Syria, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, and Somalia. Recognizing the significance of music as a universal language, the organization offers a creative outlet for children and their families who are searching for a sense of belonging in their new home.

Returning Partners

Atlanta Music Project (Atlanta, Georgia)

The Atlanta Music Project’s mission is to inspire social change by providing Atlanta's youth the opportunity to learn and perform music in orchestras and choirs. Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project (AMP) provides intensive, tuition-free music education to underserved youth right in their neighborhood. Funding from PlayUSA will allow new students to take part in the program, support the launch of a new master class series, provide professional development opportunities for teaching artists, and subsidize instrument repairs and replacements.

2019–2020 Application Timeline

  • February 1: Eligibility Form Available
  • March 15: Eligibility Form Due
  • April 16: Full Application Sent to Finalists
  • May 17: Full Applications Due
  • June 28: 2019–2020 Partners Announced


Fund II Foundation

Lead support for PlayUSA is provided by Fund II Foundation.

The Weill Music Institute's programs are made available to a nationwide audience, in part, by an endowment grant from the Citi Foundation.

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