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Home » Officer Columns » Executive Board Members » MPTF Launches MusicianFest Partnership with National Council on Aging
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MPTF Launches MusicianFest Partnership with National Council on Aging

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by Dan Beck, Trustee, Music Performance Trust Fund

The inaugural performance featured Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash (member of Local 802) and a performance by noted New York guitarist and singer Richard Frank (member of Local 802) at University Settlement Neighborhood Center. Nearly 100 older adults joined the celebration, singing and dancing to the music of their lives

Music is a powerful connector. For older adults, music can have a positive impact on their mental and physical well-being. That’s why the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF), Film Fund Trust Fund, and National Council on Aging (NCOA) are teaming up to bring live music to senior centers across the country.

MusicianFest will stage up to 500 free performances at senior centers in an effort to bring the positive impact of music into the lives of older adults. Although these are small, solo musician performances, there will be 500 paid performances from these small block grants. They will begin as soon as possible, and are expected to conclude by June 30 of this year. The program has a great potential overall impact for the AFM and the MPTF.

National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) are vibrant community organizations. They serve a diverse group of older adults, from those who are healthy and active to those with multiple health issues. They support seniors on limited incomes who seek access to services and activity to maintain a healthy life. The music and live performances can have significant impact on the lives of these older adults. We are proud to be a resource for putting talented professional musicians in these senior centers.

“I’ve experienced the joy live music can bring to a rapt audience at a senior center, and it’s hard to deny the power of song,” says Maureen O’Leary, program manager of NCOA’s NISC. “We’re pleased this partnership will bring professional-caliber performers into the lives of thousands of older adults across the country.”

The MusicianFest program will be coordinated between the senior centers, NCOA, and the AFM locals. We have great confidence in the AFM’s experience to make things happen and the NCOA has similar confidence in the leadership of their member senior centers.

As you know, the MPTF has had many challenges over the past several years, particularly in the steady and aggressive decline in annual revenue. A big goal of this campaign is to create a high quality, comprehensive program that showcases what the MPTF can do with the talent and organizational abilities of the AFM. (We are still in discussions to expand the campaign to Canada.) We hope to attract a corporate co-sponsor to help us continue this program next year, and perhaps in the years ahead. NCOA has many corporate partners and it is possible that showcasing this campaign could stimulate interest among them.

Although these are small grants individually, we ask the locals to help us in making them a priority to get scheduled and completed successfully. I believe that all of us, working together, can create a collective impact that brings meaningful attention to the work of the MPTF, NCOA, and to the musicians of the AFM who make it happen.

The MPTF’s Vidrey Blackburn and Samantha Ramos have been reaching out to the locals where we have approved NCOA senior centers involved. Should you have any questions, please e-mail: sramos@musicpf.org, or contact me directly at 212-391-3950.

The inaugural performance featured Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash (member of Local 802) and a performance by noted New York guitarist and singer Richard Frank (member of Local 802) at University Settlement Neighborhood Center. Nearly 100 older adults joined the celebration, singing and dancing to the music of their lives.






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