September 07, 2021 I Philanthropy
Fender Play Foundation, Billie Eilish Team to Benefit LAUSD Students
The Fender Play Foundation announced, alongside Grammy winners Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, it will expand the reach of its youth music education program with Los Angeles Unified schools to hundreds of elementary school students in their home neighborhood of Highland Park.
Through contributions provided by Eilish — and supporting partners Finneas, Interscope Films, Best Friends Music, and Darkroom Records — the Fender Play Foundation and Los Angeles Unified will provide instruments and weekly music instruction to nearly 2,500 third, fourth and fifth grade students across 10 Highland Park community elementary schools over the course of the next three years. The expansion will add two music teachers in years one and two, and reach middle school in year three, with the goal of creating a robust third-to-eighth grade music pathway for all students in Highland Park. The new program expansion supports the Fender Play Foundation on the path to meet its goal of raising $6 million over the next three years to expand the program to more than 35,000 students and Los Angeles Unified teaching staff, as they work to expand access to music education through the Foundation.
Launched on Aug. 16 in the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood where Eilish wrote and recorded hits on a ukulele in her childhood home, this program will act as a pilot for future Fender Play Foundation programs for elementary schools throughout Los Angeles Unified. The collaboration lays the continued groundwork for a sustainable and impactful music education program and marks Fender Musical Instruments Corporation’s (FMIC) advancement toward broadening the scope of the Fender Play Foundation to school districts nationwide.
“Music changed my life, and it’s an incredible feeling to be able to give back to my hometown and provide other kids with the very instrument that made me fall in love with songwriting in the first place,” Eilish said. “Through this program, I hope we can help inspire the next generation of creatives. I’m beyond honored to be part of this partnership with Fender and Los Angeles Unified and can’t wait to watch these kids flourish.”