The Denyce Graves Foundation receives funding from the Ford Foundation to enrich the musical education of the next generation of young artists

NEW YORK, April 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Denyce Graves Foundation (DGF) has received an unrestricted award from $250,000 of the Ford Foundation to support its mission to shape a more equitable and representative narrative of American history and to provide a brighter future for today’s underrepresented singers.

“A diverse arts landscape enhances the health and cultural vitality of our nation. The mission of the Denyce Graves Foundation will build bridges across communities, disciplines and geographies using the arts to advance justice, equality and opportunity,” said President of the Ford Foundation Darren Walker. “The Ford Foundation is thrilled to support this remarkable artist and her inspired vision.”

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the DGF, Virginie McGehee friendnoted that “this award highlights the work and research that the Denyce Graves Foundation team has done to prepare its programs and develop an evolving mission that will attract funders such as the Ford Foundation. This award suggests that we are well on our way to shaping the lives of young artists in the classical music industry.”

The Denyce Graves Foundation, which has just celebrated its first anniversary, is launching one of its three flagship programs, shared voices, this autumn. Split voices is designed to create channels of communication between historically black college and university music departments and America’s top conservatories and music schools to enrich the music programs of both institutions. A cohort of universities and conservatories have already been invited to take part in a pilot experiment and the feedback has been enthusiastic.

Founder and artistic director of DGF, Denyce Gravessaid “Our team has just convened its first session of the Split voices consortia including universities, conservatories and foundation collaborators in preparation for the launch of the program in the fall semester. This award couldn’t be more timely, nor could we be more thrilled to see this initiative launched with the generosity of the Ford Foundation.”

The Denyce Graves Foundation (DGF) is a non-profit organization focused on the crossroads of social justice, american history and the arts. Led by the Emmy and Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano, Denyce Gravesthe Foundation seeks to expand our understanding of American history by bringing the stories of our nation hidden musical figures enlighten. By sharing the contributions of many exceptional musicians of color whose stories have been intentionally taken from the American narrative, DGF is reclaiming an essential part of our cultural heritage. These pioneers will be celebrated through multi-level community engagement programs, as well as through social and traditional media, while the Foundation serves as an information resource and clearinghouse for scholars and the public.

The Denyce Graves Foundation is an organization sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts.


Melinda N. Gainer (757) 615-2831
[email protected]


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SOURCE The Denyce Graves Foundation