The Living Legacy Foundation has given the House of Blues' Music Forward Foundation $150,000 (USD) to help the youth organization kick start music industry careers for homeless and former foster youth.
“We are deeply honored and grateful to receive this generous, first-time support from the Living Legacy Foundation. This grant establishes a truly distinctive scholarship program targeting our most vulnerable young people and will increase the scope of Music Forward’s work," Nurit Smith, executive director of Music Forward Foundation, said in a statement.
The Living Legacy Foundation is a private family foundation, based in Costa Mesa, California, supporting organizations that help people who suffer from poverty, poor health, abuse, lack of education, and a lack of opportunities to better their lives.
The Music Forward Foundation, launched in 1993, helps young people (aged 12 to 22) navigate the music business via free educational and employment programs, will use the grant to offer a new college scholarship to help bridge homeless people and former foster youth to music careers.
"Because this population faces unique barriers to college entry and often has to cut basic needs expenses – such as food and housing – to meet costs once they arrive, scholarships like this one can mean a world of difference for their safety and academic well-being," the Music Forward Foundation says on its website.
The foundation will launch a first-ever $10,000 David Eugene Ballard national scholarship, named after the music enthusiast and late father-in-law to philanthropist Alisha Ballard, founder of the Living Legacy Foundation.
“We are thrilled to partner with Music Forward to create the new David Eugene Ballard Scholarship and support the foundation’s initiatives. This life-changing scholarship offers crucial financial support for homeless and former foster youth pursuing careers in the music industry," Alisha Ballard, vice president and executive director of Living Legacy Foundation, said in her own statement.
Fields of study for the Eugene Ballard scholarship eligible to students attending college or university includes live-event operations, production, music engineering, music business management and other related fields on and off the performance stage.
Applications for the Eugene Ballard scholarship will be accepted online until March 31, 2019.
In its 25 years, Music Forward Foundation has invested over $25 million in programs encouraging educational opportunities for underserved youth.
The foundation earlier unveiled three separate $10,000 scholarships -- Tiffany Green Operation Scholarship, Steven J. Finkel Service Excellence Scholarship, Live Nation U.S. Concerts Scholarship – in partnership with Live Nation Concerts for eligible college juniors pursuing music careers.
House of Blues entertainment venues are owned and operated by Live Nation Entertainment.
Besides easing educational costs, the four scholarships also offer professional networking opportunities for music industry students.
Andrae Alexander, a senior at California State University and a major in music industry administration, earned the 2018 Steven J. Finkel Service Excellence Scholarship, which aims to improve the customer service for live music attendees.
"Like those before me who, through their lives, showed me that I could live my dreams, I want to inspire the next generation through books, live events, music and educational materials to do the same," Alexander said on the Music Forward Foundation website.
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