OUR STORY (History, present, future)
L4OA Charities was established by Prince Rogers Nelson and his wife, Mayte Garcia. Their only child, Amiir, was born on October 16, 1996, but passed six days after his birth... Prince and Mayte founded L4OA in memory of their son.
To build upon the artists' philanthropic legacy of driving better outcomes for humanity, L4OA seeks to retain and revive music and arts programs in our schools.
While it appears that today’s decision-makers believe that music and arts programs are unnecessary and dispensable when funds become tight, L4OA passionately believes this could not be further from the truth – music and arts are essential to the long-term success of our children and future generations.
The issue is not simply about losing a band, orchestra, chorus or general music education – when a school system determines that it needs to fund standardized-tested subjects over non-tested subjects, this disrupts the balance of what is taught in the schools. Essentially, only the logical (left-brained) disciplines are then taught for the purposes of the test, and the aesthetic (right- brained) disciplines are forsaken.
L4OA is determined to provide children the very thing they need to flourish – a deeply embedded music and arts education, which fosters whole-brain learning, self-confidence, critical thinking and ingenuity. All these skills improve students’ achievement and success in overall academics, especially in the so-called “STEM” subjects: science, technology, engineering and math.
Accordingly, music and the arts should be taught within project learning alongside the critical thinking of core courses, which together directly engages students and therefore effectively balances the development of the brains. This results in the development of the whole being, which in turn enhances society with better citizens.
L4OA is an advocate for music and arts, not just resulting from a passion for music and arts themselves, but rooted in a belief that when schools decide to eliminate these classes due to budget cuts, students are negatively affected more than many seem to realize.
L4OA believes that examining what is currently being taught and applying what can be learned from the “STEAM” model (which adds “Arts” to the traditional “STEM” approach), there will be a tremendous positive impact on student achievement, community strength and financial solvency.
L4OA envisions communities where music and the arts are vital to social development, and represent a positive alternative for youth dealing with stress and peer pressure. Through music and the arts, youth can find new ways to express themselves, to lift their spirits and fulfill their dreams.
As a grant-making foundation, L4OA’s mission is to provide grants to deserving nonprofit programs that promote such music and arts programs within our target audience, which may be directed toward scholarships; musical instruments and art supplies; and/or tuition/fees for music and arts classes, including but not limited to the following:
- Providing grants to ensure that kids, parents and educators have access to workshops, programs, tools and other resources to heighten awareness of and to provide solutions for music and arts educational programs (i.e., student concerts, music recordings, video production).
- Engaging with the entire school community, including students and parents, to develop arts-related policies and best practices and goals, along with reporting procedures and a follow-up system for monitoring progress and improving outcomes.
- Supplying musical instruments, arts supplies and other educational resources that teach kids how to tap into their creative potential, create artistic works, and teach parents how to encourage and support their kids’ artistic endeavors, while immersed in STEAM subjects.
- Helping parents, educators and health professionals to learn how to recognize talented youth, listen and learn from ideas, and help kids tap into their creative potential through programs that focus on discussions, role-playing ideas and other creative content designed to boost creativity and self-esteem; develop empathy; reduce anxiety; and encourage inclusion, respect, tolerance, diversity and friendship.
L4OA sets out the following core principles to guide all program activities:
- A participatory, culturally/socially respectful and inclusive approach by engaging expert individuals and organizations in needs assessment, management and implementation of the programs.
- Investment in capacity-building and local sustainability of program objectives.
- Collaborating and supporting local nonprofit organizations, government agencies,
businesses and community groups.
- Creating durable solutions for our beneficiaries that extend far beyond the scope of
our immediate programs.