Reflecting on 2018, I am pleased to share that FAME continued providing its robust and nationally recognized programs, and I am in awe of the community’s generosity.
Last year, FAME ended with strong and healthy programs and operating budget. We began the year with a three-year capacity building grant from Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), funded by the Prince George’s County Government, to enhance the capacity of our nonprofit through a variety of organizational management support. Our FAME Jazz Band Program Students increased their GPAs by one (and in some cases two) full grades, increased SAT scores by an average of 250 points, and we added high school and college & career advisory positions. Our signature summer programs, Summer Music Technology, and Beats Books & Hooks, attracted rising 7th thru 12th grade students from around the Greater Washington Region and as far as Illinois and Texas. We launched a pilot Vocal Music Workshop at the University of Maryland that will continue in 2019, partnered with Elizabeth Seton High School & Joe’s Movement Emporium in four one-week summer camp for elementary students, and we partnered with Concerned Citizens Network of Alexandria’s two-week Summer Camp “Wings of Excellence” for middle school students. Our innovative summer programs were very successful and supported 160 youth. Additionally, we continued our year-round partnerships with Stedwick Elementary School in the original creation and performance of its annual opera, and Hyattsville Middle School’s Creative & Visual Performing Arts programming.
Our popular Race 4 FAME scavenger hunt, sponsored by United Parcel Service (UPS) and supported by the Prince George’s County Council Members Todd Turner, Derrick Leon Davis, and Obie Patterson was held in National Harbor on May 12th and resulted in regional recognition of FAME and additional program funds. This year the Race will be co-sponsored by UPS & PEPCO. Community participation in two longstanding senior citizens and intergenerational events: Motown Revue and Tis the Season, increased 200 percent. Our 14th-anniversary celebration recognized the outstanding achievements of 10 community leaders, friends and peers, and two educators whose work has contributed tremendously to the growth of FAME and the advancement of the arts for youth in Prince George’s County and the Region.
The support of our community increased exposure of our programs and strengthen our finances, allowing FAME to bolster academic standings and provide quality music experiences, and invest in our staff and programs; thereby maintaining FAME’s level of excellence and commitment to our students.
Looking forward to 2019, we are excited about continuing our capacity building work with VPP and providing high-quality music and academic centered enrichment activities and programs to all youth.
A. Toni Lewis