July Community Spotlight

The Federal News Radio United Way Community Spotlight for July is CHIME, Community Help in Music Education.

CHIME, a local non-profit, was founded in 1997 by Dorothy Marschak as her response to the inadequate and unequal provision of music education in DC Public Schools. She was motivated by the desire to help less advantaged children realize their potential, an opportunity that Dorothy’s accidentally-killed 10 year old gifted daughter was unable to.

CHIME’s mission of promoting and providing music education for DC Public School students has been carried out in an ever-increasing repertoire of programs, despite having no paid staff and a small budget. The organization has been creating support for bringing the vaunted el sistema to DC since 2007, and has presented over 500 free “Music Around the World” programs in schools and public libraries in all eight wards of the city. Additionally, CHIME has instituted over 15 on-going instrumental and choral programs, has organized 40 professional development workshops for DC teachers and has distributed over 300 donated instruments to DC area schools. CHIME initiated and partnered with the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum on an exhibition, “Banding Together”, about the history and significance of DC school bands before their recent decline. Its videotaped school programs receive regular airings on DC Public Access TV.

CHIME has attracted unsolicited grants and proceeds of benefits by local educational institutions, as well as support from ANCs and other community organizations in the communities it serves. Awards and recognition include being a

  • Finalist for the Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education for 2007 and 2008,
  • Ward One Community Service Award,
  • Selection of Marschak for the Annual Alumni Outstanding Community Service Award by Swarthmore College in 2011,

    To add your voice and/or donations of talents, unused instruments in good repair, or money to our mission, please contact CHIME at info@chime-dc.org or www.chime-dc.org. You can also contribute through Network for Good, United Way (#8659), or CFC (#38628)

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    The Federal News Radio Community Spotlight is sponsored by United Way. You can give, you can advocate, you can volunteer. That’s what it means to Live United. For more information visit www.unitedwaynca.org.

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