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2023 Let The Music Play grants awarded supporting music education in Milwaukee County


Program grant supported by American Family Insurance fulfills dream wish list for Bembé Drum and Dance Inc. 

Summerfest and American Family Insurance are excited to announce the grant recipients for the fifth annual Let The Music Play program, serving a diverse cross section of Milwaukee communities. The program awards grants to non-profits and schools in support of music-based programming.

During a special presentation the evening of Feb. 8 (see photos above of presentation), American Family Insurance and Summerfest surprised Bembé Drum and Dance Inc. students and teachers with the news they can fulfill their “dream wish list” through the funds received via the Let The Music Play grant program. The grant money will allow Bembé Drum and Dance Inc. to purchase instruments and cultural attire, profoundly impacting the performing arts program’s goals for growth and student engagement.

The 2023 Let The Music Play Grant Program recipients include:

AE Burdick School – the grant will support the purchase of acoustic instruments such as guitars, along with storage and amplifiers, putting the instruments into students’ hands, allowing them to create and perform.

Bella Gail Foundation – the grant will support the purchase of guitars, mics, and sheet music for their “Schools Out” program, which offers art enrichment courses including dance, guitar, voice, and more.

Bembé Drum and Dance Inc. – the funds will support the mission of connecting students to African-based culture as a source of pride within their heritage through music and dance, through the purchase of instruments and costumes for the public Academy and school programs.

Eastbrook Academy, Inc. – funds will support the purchase of cultural percussion instruments: timbales, tambora, and marching percussion instruments: snare drums, tenor drums, and bass drums. Funds also support repairs for string instruments: violins and cellos, repairing brass instruments: trumpets, trombones, and tuba.

Glen Hills Middle School – grant money will support replacement of the music sound system in the band room at their school.

Latino Arts – funds will support instrument repair including bows and strings for The Latino Arts Strings Program, where students receive classical music training and develop a cultural identity while acquiring skills and recognition.

Milwaukee High School of the Arts – the grant will support the purchase of percussion instruments including timbales, congas, twist shakers and more for the only arts focused high school in the Milwaukee Public School System.

Rufus King High School Music Technology and Production – grant funds will support an isolated sound booth for the Music Tech and Production class, where students can create and produce their own music.

Studio K Flamenco, Inc. – funds will support “Milwaukee’s home for flamenco arts!” through the addition of a new component to the program, “Compas en tus manos” or “Rhythm in your hands, which teaches students how to build and to play the Peruvian “cajon” – a percussion instrument.

Woodland Schools – grant funds will support music room humidifier and piano for performing area.

Since its inception, the Let The Music Grant program has supported 40 organizations and hundreds of students. For more information visit

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About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 12th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 251 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America Insurance. Across these companies the group has more than 13,000 employees nationwide.

About Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance
Located in downtown Milwaukee, Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance is one of the most iconic celebrations of music in America, hosting the industry’s biggest acts for an unforgettable live music experience.  Since its inception in 1968, Summerfest continues to distinguish itself as a premier national music festival and has developed an unrivaled reputation, consistently featuring hundreds of performances across 12 stages, throughout the 75-acre festival grounds along Lake Michigan. The 2023 edition consists of three weekends (Thursdays – Saturdays) June 22-24, June 29-July 1, and July 6-8, 2023.  For the latest information, visit, or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok: @Summerfest.

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., producer of Summerfest, continues to fulfill its nonprofit mission of bringing the community together and providing a showcase for performing arts, activities, and recreation to the public, through music and special events.

SOURCE: Summerfest

Summerfest media contact:
Julie Dieckelman