Local Donor Gives A Quarter of a Million Dollars to Enrich Music and the Arts at PPS

The Foundation for Portland Public Schools (FPPS) is thrilled to announce a donation of $250,000 to enrich music, visual, and performing arts experiences for students in the Portland Public Schools (PPS).

The anonymous donation came from a Portland Public Schools parent. The donor reached out to Andi Summers, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Portland Public Schools, to discuss a gift that would meaningfully impact students and address a significant need.

“I send my kids to our neighborhood public school. It’s really been a positive experience. I see a lot of great things happening and they’ve had really wonderful teachers. I also see a lot of challenges,” the donor shared. “When I was a student, the arts were life saving. The visual and performing arts were the place where I felt comfortable and valued.  I’d love to give more of that type of opportunity to Portland students.”

“This donation is a game changer for our arts programs,” said Summers. “We are so grateful for this donor’s incredibly generous support. It will bring a range of new opportunities to Portland students. We know that making music and art benefits mental health and engages kids in school. For many, it’s the highlight of their day.”

Summers reports that the Foundation for Portland Public Schools launched a Music & the Arts fundraising campaign in the fall of 2022, in response to feedback from teachers and community members. The campaign had an initial focus on updating the district’s aging musical instrument collection to ensure that students who couldn’t afford to buy or rent an instrument could still participate in band or orchestra. FPPS received 35 gently used instruments and enough donations to purchase 26 brand new violas, violins, clarinets, and saxophones to students across the district. This year, every band and orchestra student was able to receive their first choice of instrument to practice on at home!

“We were delighted by the outpouring of support from our community to the new Music & the Arts campaign,” Summers said. “However, the need for instruments was just one example of the lack of resources facing district music, art, and drama programs. This is a challenging budget year for the district. It will be wonderful to be able to provide additional resources and experiences for students as well.”

FPPS is working with a team of art, music, and drama teachers to identify some of the most pressing needs and expansion opportunities both in school and for extracurricular offerings.