State Senator Richard Roth has secured $500,000 in state funding for the Riverside Arts Academy to support arts education-related programs, musical instruments, equipment, and facilities. The Riverside Arts Academy is a prominent arts mentoring program that focuses on music to positively impact the lives of underserved youth aged 7-17.
The funding will bolster the Riverside Arts Academy's mission to provide access and connection to the arts, mainly through music, aiming to transform the trajectories of young lives in the Riverside community.
"The Riverside Arts Academy, employing the magic of music, has been a transformative and empowering force in the lives of thousands of disadvantaged young people throughout our region," stated Senator Roth. "Whether it's singing in a choir or playing an instrument, I have seen the tremendous joy and pride these students exhibit. As someone who was in the band and choir growing up, I can tell you firsthand the profound positive impact it has in fostering teamwork, focusing attention to detail, and developing discipline. These funds will help support the work the Academy performs as a powerful positive influence in our community."
Kathleen Barth, President of the Board of Directors of the Riverside Arts Academy, expressed gratitude for the funding, noting the critical timing of the support as the nonprofit expands its services to more children. She added, "Senator Roth has shared his personal music education journey with our families and understands the long-term value of music in the classroom and its power to effect positive change. We sincerely thank the Senator for his unwavering support of our mission to change lives in Riverside through the medium of music and the arts."
Collette Lee, Founding President of Riverside Arts Academy, highlighted the significance of music in post-COVID times, emphasizing its role in healing and community connection. Lee stated, "Senator Roth understands, due to his personal involvement in his youth, that music, especially post-COVID, gives our children the power to heal and connect with our communities, and science shows playing music ultimately leads to higher academic success. At the Riverside Arts Academy, our mission is to change lives by providing free high-quality music instruction 3-6 hours a week and free instruments for 7-17-year-olds. This is our path of social equity, along with Senator Roth's, to serve our underserved children. We are so thankful."
The Riverside Arts Academy, an award-winning program, annually serves nearly 1,000 students and offers over 50 hours of instruction weekly in various musical art classes, including choir, strings, band, guitar, mariachi, orchestra, and percussion. The program's flagship ensembles, the Riverside Arts Academy Youth Orchestra, the Riverside Arts Academy Children's Choir, and the Riverside Arts Academy Riverside Mariachi de Juvenil, regularly participate in high-profile events and performances across the region.