Bedford Creative Arts’ Gigs 4 Kids campaign has successfully exceeded its target by raising £16,999 thanks to support from generous backers.
With the funding now secured, Gigs 4 Kids will be holding live music gigs in all 54 primary schools located in Bedford Borough next year, to tackle the shortfall of opportunities for children to experience the joy of music.
The gigs will be offered to schools free of charge and will include a broad mix of music styles from rock, jazz, funk and classical music. Every gig will be followed up with clear instructions for parents about the options for music lessons in Bedford Borough.
The £16,999 raised includes contributions from Arts Council England (ACE) who donated £2,555, plus local businesses Bedford Heights, Bonfire Creative Intelligence, Future Legend Media, Narrative Industries, Woodhead Horns, both Cllr Valentine and Cllr McMurdo, the portfolio holders for Education and Culture, together with Goldington Green Academy and Shortstown School, and finally the many families and individuals who donated between £2 and £500 each.
The campaign, organised by The Bedfordshire Music Service, Bedford Creative Arts, The Culture Challenge, Music Live, Bedford Music Co-operative, The Philharmonia Orchestra, Pad Presents and Esquires, will also provide a bursary fund to support at least 30 disadvantaged children.
They’ll have access to a ‘taster term’ of one-to-one lessons, including intensive support from The Philharmonia for those children undertaking an orchestral instrument.
The bursaries will be allocated on need by a panel according to set criteria. Due to the overfunding, at least seven of these bursaries will be extended to two terms.
“It has been really moving to see the pledges come in, with many messages of support from people who know the power of music for children,” said Kayte Judge, cultural education provider at BCA.
“We are beyond delighted to have received this support and feel the whole town is behind us in wanting children to have access to the arts. This is collaboration at its best.”
David Rose, Head of Bedford Music Service, said, “We cannot wait to get going with this now – we have a whole raft of musicians ready to play to the children of Bedford, from rock bands to classical ensembles. This really is a boost for local music education and we are grateful for the support of the community.”
A special thanks goes to the children of Shortstown School who starred in the campaign video and also dressed as rock stars on a special fundraising day, raising £214 for Gigs 4 Kids.
More information can be found at www.spacehive.com/gigs4kids