The lucky three schools were Dell H. Robison Middle School, Cashman Middle School and Ed W. Clark High School.
These music education grants — which will help the schools not only enhance their music programs but also provide instruments to expand student participation — were achieved through interactive social media campaigns at music festivals across the nation, including Stagecoach, Firefly Music Festival, Lollapalooza, and more.
Toyota asked festivalgoers and participating artists like Tegan and Sara, The Zombies and Lil Yachty, to write the answer to the question “What does music mean to you?” on a dry erase board and share it on social media with the #ToyotaGiving.
On Thursday at an event held at Ed W. Clark High School, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds talked about the importance of his own education — and how he wouldn’t be in his Grammy Award-winning band if it wasn’t for the teachers he had in school.
“If it weren’t for teachers at these schools who are so underappreciated, who are so undercompensated, putting their talents and taking the time with kids like myself, who were very difficult to work with — I was really ADD and all over the place and they were so patient with me,” Reynolds said.
“I wouldn’t have a career today and I wouldn’t be in Imagine Dragons if it weren’t for my teachers,” he added.
In the past two years the #ToyotaGiving campaign has collectively donated $70,000 to VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. The grants were awarded to four schools in the New Orleans and Chicago areas providing each school with musical instruments and increasing the number of music teachers on staff to support sustainable music education programs. As a result of the Toyota grants, over 1,370 students have been able to experience the power of making music.
“We are gearing up to celebrate 20 years at VH1 Save the Music and partners like Toyota have helped significantly with our mission to ensure music is a part of every child’s complete education,” Henry Donahue, executive director of VH1 Save the Music Foundation said in 2016. “We’re thrilled to be in these communities and that our work over the summer has brought instruments and music back to these schools.”
The Life Is Beautiful Festival takes place this weekend in Las Vegas.