Bridge the Gap + Toy Piano

Toy piano? Although it is a child’s toy, this instrument has found a niche in modern and progressive music. In November, Bridge the Gap will hold a fundraising concert to celebrate new music and arts appreciation. Read below to find out more:

Since 2011, Bridge the Gap has run an extremely tight budget, bringing in just enough in donations to pay our artists. In the past, this did not matter since the free chamber music concert model is very inexpensive to run. However, in December of last year, we started our South Dallas Strings project (SoDal), which took us to one of the poorest neighborhoods in Dallas to bring arts learning and creativity to as many children as we could. We currently serve sixteen fourth graders, and while we know SoDal is worth every penny we spend on it, this project is running our bank account dry. Starting an orchestra from the ground up is not a cheap endeavor, but with your help and a few grants, we have made it work.

With the current status of our bank account, the Bridge the Gap model is not sustainable. We need money to pay our artists, take care of the SoDal project, and pay for standard organizational expenses like insurance and website hosting. So, we decided to do a creative project like BtG had never done before in the form of a toy piano concert for three reasons:

  1. We want to host a concert beyond the scope of what we have ever done: premiering a new piece, bringing in a renowned artist, and playing inside a concert hall at SMU, in order to thank you, our donors. This concert still follows our free concert model, though we will accept donations at the door, because we want the entire community to come enjoy this music- which is exactly what we strive to do at every concert we host.
  2.  We want our South Dallas students to come hear a concert completely out of the norm of music they hear in their daily lives. We are pushing them to want more for themselves and to break outside of the mold of their community. We believe that bringing them to a celebration of music, education, and achievement will encourage them to reach beyond what they think they are able to.
  3. We want to raise awareness about what we as an organization are doing. For our budget to balance in future years and for us to continue to provide free shows and wonderful educational programs, we need a larger support network.

How can you help? Invite your friends and family to our Toy Piano show on November 22 in the Bob Hope Theater at SMU. Donate to our Indiegogo campaign or on our website. And share this post.

Thank you for your support these past four years. Bridge the Gap has grown and evolved in ways that we never thought possible and we could not have done it without your support. 

South Dallas Strings

Introducing South Dallas Strings

Fundraising begins for new after-school program for South Dallas students

Bridge the Gap Chamber Players is excited to introduce a large and innovative new project to be entitled “ South Dallas Strings.” This free after-school program will be offered to 6th-8th grade students in the South Dallas area, and includes an online modular learning program for basic musicianship and ear training concepts, as well as programs about string quartet instruments featuring videos by Southern Methodist University Music Education students.

Bridge the Gap has raised $8,000 in both in-kind donations and grants during the campaign’s first month, and is working toward an ultimate goal of $100,000. The organization will introduce the initiative to the community on April 11, 2015 during the Community Day at Fair Park. This event, open to the South Dallas and Greater Dallas communities, will feature chamber music performances by both SMU and South Dallas artists and include a drum circle, instrument petting zoo, and refreshments.

There is a lack of federal and local funding for arts education in the South Dallas area, as well as falling literacy and graduation rates. Studies show that arts education increases graduation rates and, moreover, music training equips the brain to think critically and solve problems in new ways. This program will also require good attendance rates in school, which in turn will drive up school attendance and help diminish conduct violations by providing a creative outlet and incentive to students.

Bridge the Gap is looking forward to using music to help transform a community.