Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Crossroads Preparatory Academy as the recipient of the firm’s 2019 Charitable Giving Program grant.
The $50,000 grant will be used over the next three years to purchase and refurbish musical instruments as well as other equipment and accessories needed by Crossroads Preparatory Academy student musicians and staff to build the school’s music program. The school hopes to develop a jazz band, strings orchestra, and marching and pep bands in conjunction with utilizing the grant funds.
In addition, as part of this program, Crossroads Preparatory Academy plans to conduct a series of public concerts.
This Crossroads Prep/Spencer Fane Performance Series includes a proposed 14 events between spring 2019 and 2021 that add to the already flourishing performing arts community in Kansas City in a unique way.
As part of the relationship with Spencer Fane, Crossroads Preparatory Academy has invited the firm’s employees to join music classes as guest performers, serve as guest mentors to students and participate in the Crossroads Community Collaborative, which is a symbiotic community partnership offering students the chance to gain real-world professional experiences through substantive work done with community partners.
“Spencer Fane has a long history of supporting the arts and innovation community in Kansas City,” said Patrick J. Whalen, managing partner at Spencer Fane. “Giving back is one of our passions, and the firm is deeply committed to growing the city’s cultural life. We are thrilled to add Crossroads Preparatory Academy to our Charitable Giving Program and look forward to developing a truly beneficial relationship between the firm, the school and the students.”
Founded in 2012 and located in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Crossroads Charter Schools remains committed to a holistic education that makes the arts an integral part of education in addition to the focus on core academic subjects. The opening of Crossroads Preparatory Academy in 2018 offered the chance to greatly enhance opportunities for students to develop their musical abilities.
Crossroads Prep enrolled 194 students in grades 7-10 this year, with plans for growth to serve 600 students in grades 7-12 by 2025.
“Crossroads Preparatory Academy is uniquely positioned to take advantage of Kansas City’s artistic and cultural opportunities in the downtown area,” said Kirsten Brown, CPA Principal. “We remain deeply invested in providing students with opportunities to develop their musical abilities — both in and out of the classroom. We know this grant will make a significant impact on the lives of our performing arts students, supporting their academic, creative and physical development.”
Currently, about 30 percent of Crossroads Prep students in grades 7-10 participate in Instrumental Music as an elective, with most being beginner musicians.
Students are currently learning the following instruments: guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium and percussion. As the program grows, Crossroads Prep hopes to participate in various music festivals and competitions in addition to hosting fall and spring concerts for parents and students.
“Music offers the chance for students and developing musicians to express themselves and share their talents in a beneficial forum,” said Ken Eberhart, Crossroads Prep music director and a founding faculty member with more than two decades of experience in public schools. “The participation speaks volumes about our Crossroads Prep school culture, which encourages students to embrace new challenges and push themselves to excel in new ways. I hope to help turn the high level of student enthusiasm into future success for our music programs.”
The Spencer Fane Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City provides significant support to select local nonprofit arts organizations through a $50,000 donation to each over the course of three years. The program has been designed as a rotation so that one new recipient enters the program each year, with another exiting upon completion of its three-year cycle.
The primary goal for the program is to encourage long-standing relationships with nonprofit organizations and to provide Spencer Fane employees with additional opportunities to become involved with the firm’s charitable causes.