The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s President and CEO, Joel Peresman, said, “As an organization dedicated to the significance of rock and roll’s history on our lives and culture, it is important to connect with our youth and provide an opportunity for them to pursue their interest in music to be the ones to create and lead the music business in the future. We recognize that making music is a collaborative art form, and some of the greatest innovators, like our former Chairman of the Board, the legendary Ahmet Ertegun, were not musicians themselves. So we wanted to offer money for studies both of musicianship and all relevant aspects of the music industry, to kids from public schools in both our cities.”
“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation Scholarship Fund” will be awarded to five high school seniors in New York and two in Cleveland. The New York recipients will be chosen from each of the five boroughs and will be offered a one-year scholarship. The two Cleveland recipients will be offered four-year stipends. These scholarships will be awarded to students based on personal essays. Peresman adds, “We wanted to offer this shot to kids who can best articulate what they think and feel about music. They don’t have to be academic superstars to enter or win. We want to read their ideas about where music is going and understand what they want to do with it.”
In Cleveland, this program will be administered by The Cleveland Scholarship Program, Inc. and in New York City by The New York City Department of Education.
“Children living in New York City grow up in a rich and diverse music environment, and we have made great efforts to cultivate music and appreciation in our students,” said Sharon Dunn, Senior Instructional Manager for Arts Education at the New York City Department of Education. “We are thrilled that this program will support those who have been inspired to pursue music, whether as performers or in other roles in the music industry.”
Maria Boss, President and CEO of the Cleveland Scholarship Program commented, “ We are honored to be able to offer scholarships to deserving students with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s support. These experiences will undoubtedly give students first hand knowledge of opportunities in music and management and help them prepare for their future careers. This collaboration is extremely meaningful to CSP and the students we serve.”
The New York City program is scheduled to begin this spring of 2007 and the Cleveland program will commence in 2008. Other ongoing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame educational programs include the “Hall of Fame” series, “From Songwriters to Soundmen,” “Rock and Roll Night School,” “Toddler Rock,” “SAGES,” “Rockin’ the Schools” as well as “On The Road,” an award-winning distance learning program.