Toyota, VH1 Save The Music Foundation and Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival, joined by GRAMMY Award-winning rock band and Las Vegas natives Imagine Dragons, presented three Las Vegas area schools with a $40,000 music education grant that will provide music instruments to enhance each school’s music programs and expand student participation.

Imagine Dragons at Ed W. Clark High School
Imagine Dragons at Ed W. Clark High School

At a spirited school-wide assembly held at Ed W. Clark High School on Thursday, September 21, Tyler McBride, Engagement Marketing Manager at Toyota Motor North America, and Henry Donahue, Executive Director at VH1 Save The Music Foundation, awarded the grant to three deserving schools – Ed W. Clark High School, Dell H. Robison Middle School and Cashman Middle School. Ed W. Clark High School Principal, Jillyn Pendleton, Clark County School District Superintendent, Pat Skorkowsky, and Life is Beautiful CEO, Justin Weniger, were also in attendance and spoke to the importance of music education in Las Vegas’ public schools.

Following executive remarks a group of talented orchestra and band students from Ed W. Clark High School performed an impressive rendition of Imagine Dragons’ chart-topping hit “Radioactive.” As the student performance ended the curtains were drawn and the GRAMMY Award-winning rock band surprised students with a rousing performance of some of their popular songs, including “Believer,” “It’s Time,” “Demons,” “Whatever it Takes,” and “Radioactive,” while students and teachers danced and sang along.

Imagine Dragons’ lead vocalist, Dan Reynolds, took a moment during the set to say a few inspiring words directly to the students, saying, “One thing we can focus on that’s an incredible positive thing is what you guys are doing – your voices and actions are resonating around the world – the youth are changing the world right now. Whether you know it or not you are, with your sense of acceptance, love and kindness. Thank you for making a greater, more healthy environment for people who are unique that feel on the outside. You guys are pretty incredible and keep changing the world.”

The $40,000 donation to VH1 Save The Music was divvied up to fulfill two Encore Grants which includes $15,000 each of supplemental wind and stringed instruments, and one Keys + Kids Grant which includes $10,000 worth of hybrid piano and keyboards. The grants strengthen each designated Las Vegas school’s music education programs with expanded resources to supply students with equal opportunity to learn through the arts. The assembly was in partnership with this weekend’s Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival, a three-day event where music, art and ideas merge in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas.

The grant was achieved through an interactive festival activation and social media campaign implemented at music festivals nationwide, including Stagecoach, Country 500, Firefly Music Festival, Ruido Fest, Lollapalooza, and the upcoming Life is Beautiful and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. The activation engages with festivalgoers and artists through an Instagram mosaic mural that promotes the #ToyotaGiving campaign in support music education. Festivalgoers and participating artists are invited to write the answer to the question “what does music mean to you?” on a dry erase board and share it on social media with the #ToyotaGiving. The pictures are added to a larger mosaic art piece at each festival. Popular artists including Tegan and Sara, Dillon Francis, The Zombies, Lil Yachty, Capital Cities and more have participated in the activation and shared what music means to them. The campaign will conclude following Voodoo Music + Arts Experience on October 27th – 29th.

Over the past three years, the #ToyotaGiving campaign has collectively donated $110,000 to VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Prior to Las Vegas, the grants were awarded to four schools in the New Orleans and Chicago areas providing each school with musical instruments and increasing the number of music teachers on staff to support sustainable music education programs. As a result of the Toyota grants, over 3,370 students have been able to experience the power of making music.

“At Toyota, we take our commitment to improve education very seriously. As a result, we continue to evolve our partnership with VH1 Save The Music in an effort to create awareness of and support their mission to restore music education programs in schools nationwide,” said Steve Appelbaum, national engagement marketing manager, Toyota Motor North America.

“Toyota’s continued commitment to VH1 Save The Music has helped us expand our support to deserving school districts and bring music education to students who need it most,” said Henry Donahue, executive director of VH1 Save The Music Foundation. “We can’t thank Toyota enough for their contribution to our mission of ensuring that music is a part of every child’s life.”

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