Noel Paul Stookey’s Music to Life organization receives $500,000 grant – Music Connection Magazine

music to lifea national non-profit organization founded by Noel Paul Stookey of folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, has received a $500,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to fund its signature accelerator programs for social justice musicians.

This grant enables Music to Life to create up to four National Accelerator Academies over the next three years, bringing in musicians from all geographies, genres and generations to engage in an intensive eight-month incubator program. Participants will receive business skills training in strategic planning, organization, management, and fundraising to develop and execute their music and social justice-focused concepts. Through capacity building and mentorship, these musicians will generate viable proposals, receive pitch training and a matching grant while collaborating with community partners and identifying funding to bring their concepts to life.

“Over the past 60 years, I have been a witness to the power of music to change lives,” said Noel Paul Stookey. “This grant from the Mellon Foundation affirms Music to Life’s leadership role in mentoring the artist’s transition from social change from inspirational performance to constructive community engagement.”

Music to Life Accelerators mobilize musicians to develop sustainable music-focused programs for communities facing persistent economic, environmental and racial injustices. With support from the Mellon Foundation, Music to Life will train up to 75 musicians each year, prioritizing local artists and BIPOC.

“Musicians in our network are learning to make a living while making change,” said Elizabeth Stookey Sunde, Executive Director of Music to Life and daughter of Noel Paul Stookey. “This grant not only allows us to scale the Accelerator like never before, but in doing so, we are also empowering cause-driven musicians across the country, who are often an overlooked resource for building more resilient communities.”

The first national Music to Life Accelerator will launch in early 2023. Social justice musicians with compelling ideas for community change and other interested allies are encouraged to join the Music to Life mailing list for more information on application deadlines and other participation opportunities.

music to life (MtL) is a national nonprofit that connects socially conscious musicians to the resources needed to achieve their bold visions of community change, setting new standards for sustainably engaging musicians in the work of revitalizing their communities. MtL offers a coordinated ecosystem of services where musicians of all genres can find community, training and technical assistance to support their call as agents of change. Learn more about

The Mellon Foundation is the nation’s biggest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its fundamental belief that the humanities and the arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence and freedom that is found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched with meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imaginations can thrive. Learn more about

Aubrey L. Morgan