Hope Academy – 20th Anniversary & Mac Miller Fund Recipient
The first grantees of The Mac Miller Fund are Pittsburgh’s Hope Academy of Music and the Arts and Musicares, a Santa Monica, Calif., charity of the Recording Academy.
The Hope Academy, an after-school arts education outreach program in East Liberty, will receive $50,000 to expand its Suzuki Music Program. MusiCares will receive $50,000 to establish the MusiCares Mac Miller Legacy Fund to help young adults dealing with substance abuse.
The Mac Miller Fund honors Miller, the Pittsburgh-raised, world-famous rapper/songwriter/producer, born Malcolm McCormick, who died in September 2018 of an accidental overdose in Los Angeles. He was 26.
His family — parents Karen Meyers and Mark McCormick and brother, Miller McCormick — created the fund, for which a November 2018 benefit concert by fellow musicians and rappers raised nearly $1 million.
The mission of the fund — originally called the Mac Miller Circles Fund and administered by the Pittsburgh Foundation — is to continue the rapper’s vision of providing opportunities to underserved youth to explore the arts and to have a positive impact on communities across the country. It also supports organizations that address substance abuse in the music industry.
The MusiCares Mac Miller Legacy Fund was announced Thursday night in Los Angeles during a tribute to Miller by his friend Vince Staples at the annual MusiCares Concert for Recovery that honored four-time Grammy Award-winning artist Macklemore. Miller’s parents and brother attended that.
Representing them at Friday morning’s news conference at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, where the Hope Academy is based, was Miller’s grandmother, Marcia Weiss.
“I want to tell you a few grandmother stories,” she said, and made people in the room smile as she recounted her 7-year-old grandson on the computer at her house composing a song that ended, “This is rap, this is rap.”
“That’s how I learned about rap,” she said.
Miller, who grew up in Point Breeze, went on to top the charts in 2011 with “Blue Slide Park,” a reference to Frick Park where he used to play and one of many East End references in his work.
He even put his grandmother at the end of one track on 2016’s “The Divine Feminine,” talking about meeting and marrying her late husband. When she told her grandson she was afraid she would ruin the album and embarrass him, he went to social media to ask his fans to contact her. “I got about 100 strangers who emailed me.” She said she answered every one.
“He was really a special grandchild,” she said, later noting, “Please join me in remembering the bright light that Malcolm brought through his music.”
Hope Academy’s director, Linda Addlespurger, expressed her gratitude that the local grant will help her decade-old organization double the enrollment to 80 students in its Suzuki program that teaches violin and cello and also enable it to add guitar and flute. It not only teaches infants to high schoolers to read and play music, but also makes them “ambassadors of noble-heartedness in the world.”
Pittsburgh Foundation spokesman Douglas Root said, “We’re going to be very excited to see what comes down the road in future grants.”
To support the Mac Miller Fund, visit https://pittsburghfoundation.org/macmiller.
Bob Batz Jr.: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1930 and on Twitter @bobbatzjr.
First Published May 17, 2019, 10:30am
View Original Post Gazette Article HERE