April Showers bring May flowers

This April we are sharing sunflowers with you devoted friends and supporters who have been with us for so long. We do this as a community program to show our solidarity with Ukraine, as evidenced by the heartfelt program Dr. Nové orchestrated this past month in one week’s time. We all came together as an organization and Board because that’s what we do! We pivot when needed. We pivoted to continue programming during COVID — we were one of the first in the Nation to do so. We pivoted to show our connection to the world and now, for the same reason, we pivot to build community.

I can’t help but reflect on the mission of our program, which is to change lives using music as a vehicle, to build community and good future citizens. We help our children unlock their potential for academic achievement, gain self-confidence, and overcome disadvantages such as poverty and inequality. It’s what our kids and city need to thrive. I think of our kids as flowers and our job is to nurture and watch them grow over the years, as we provide them with all the nutrients and support to grow into strong, beautiful, vibrant flowers that can withstand the heavy winds of life.

We have to remain optimistic that, amidst the angst of the world, we can still provide stability and mentorship as we guide kids through these difficult times and stand united as a beacon of hope, using music as the message of change.

As our incredible Board plans our October 21st City of Love Gala, let’s all come together in the name of peace and community and support one another. Our ability to run this program comes from you. We always need volunteers, we need music instructors of a high caliber, and we need funds. If you are able to help in any of these ways we would be most thankful. Several people have asked if they can leave a bequest to our organization. The answer is yes, we are seriously exploring this possibility. I do want to give a shout-out to the Assistance League of Riverside and their Hearts & Hands program. Once again, they have come through to help buy much-needed items for our kids. They shine in our community!

In peace and love,

Collette Lee
Board President, Riverside Arts Academy