Summer Guitar Project at the Fresh Air Fund Summer Camps Flourishes as a Result of Gibson Foundation Support

July 28, 2017

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The ASCAP Foundation Summer Guitar Project, which takes place at the Fresh Air Fund camps in Fishkill, New York, continues to thrive as a result of a generous cash grant from the Gibson Foundation. This grant made it possible for talented songwriters and musicians to travel to the camps and teach music to young people using Gibson-donated guitars.

During the course of the summer over 3,000 New York City children will receive guitar and songwriting lessons during their stay at camp. For many, it is their first opportunity to work with a music teacher, learn to play an instrument and create songs.

Since 1999 The ASCAP Foundation has offered free music education to economically disadvantaged New York City children at the Fresh Air Fund Summer Camps, widening the scope of what the Fresh Air Fund regularly offers. By donating instruments and arranging for songwriters and musicians to work with underserved children, The ASCAP Foundation and the Fresh Air Fund pick up where school budgets leave off by introducing the arts to campers in a countryside setting. This initiative exposes youths to diverse musical genres and experiences that enhance their curiosity, present a much-needed outlet for creative self-expression, and guide them towards learning a life-skill that could be used in a potential career.

“If I didn’t attend Camp Mariah [of the Fresh Air Fund Camps] I wouldn’t be so open. I’m usually shy, but I made so many friends, and I feel like I really belong. I think about things differently too, like what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a creator of something.” -Lianna, Age 14, Brooklyn, NY

Musician and producer, Arden Altino, also paid a visit to the camp where he discussed his career and worked with the kids to create an original song.

The Gibson Foundation also provided a grant to produce a video on the Summer Guitar Project.  Be on the lookout for it on this site soon.

This year’s guitar/songwriting teachers include: Jeff Entin, Joy Jones and Tom Simmons. The Summer Guitar Project is made possible by a grant from the Gibson Foundation and The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund. Thanks to D'Addario for their donation of guitar strings and picks.