YARMOUTH — The 317 Main Street Community Music Center has received a $50,000 grant that the youth education organization will use to address the needs of its students around southern Maine during the coronavirus pandemic.

Much of the funding – part of $1.25 million the Lewis Prize for Music philanthropy awarded to 32 creative youth development entities across the country – will be used to strengthen and expand programming in communities that lack sufficient resources. Endeavors include after-school digital music programs with the Portland Public Library and the Boys and Girls Club, a young mother lullaby project with Wayfinder Schools, and week-long “Songwriting Intensives” courses with Casco Bay High School students.

317 Main, which offers low-cost and tuition-free partnership programs, worked with those other organizations at the start of the pandemic to design remote creative opportunities like a
biweekly teen open mic and digital music making.

“This funding will be game-changer,” Alicia Phelps, 317 Main’s Director of Community Partnerships and Special Programs, said in a statement. “Having the ability to substantially or fully fund programs allows 317 Main to better address the specific needs of our partnering organizations and the students we serve, and create musical experiences that are accessible, engaging and fun.”

More than 200 teens participated in spring programming, according to Melia Coletta, marketing and communications manager with 317 Main. About 30% of that group came through the organization’s partnerships with schools and other community group, where students participated at no charge, she said.

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