Santigold Partners with Toyota and VH1 Save The Music to Present New Orleans Area School with Music Education Grant

Grant provides LaPlace Elementary School with their first music program in over a decade

Fundraising was achieved through a national music festival activation and social media campaign that saw participation from artists including Duran Duran, Gary Clark Jr., Cold War Kids, Misterwives, Night Terrors of 1927, Zella Day and more

Nov 02, 2015, 08:00 ET from Toyota

TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota and VH1 Save The Music have completed their national music festival activation and social media campaign to benefit music education. The campaign came to a close last weekend as Toyota presented LaPlace Elementary with a grant that will fund an entire instrumental music program for the school. This will be the first time in over a decade that the New Orleans area elementary has been able to provide music education to its students.

The grant was achieved through an interactive festival activation and social media campaign implemented at music festivals nationwide including Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Nocturnal Wonderland, Life is Beautiful and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. The activation engaged with festivalgoers through a life sized Whispering Willow tree on the festival grounds. Participants were asked to write what music means to them on a leaf, hang the leaf on the tree, take a photo, and post to social media with the hashtag #ToyotaGiving. For each social media post, Toyota donated $1 to VH1 Save The Music.

With the five festival run complete, Toyota was able to fulfill a $30,000 donation to VH1 Save The Music, a grant substantial enough to restore a musical instrument program for the entire school. LaPlace Elementary School was selected as the grant recipient for a multitude of factors. Not only is it the largest elementary school in the Parish, servicing over 1,000 students, but the school had no music education program in place. With this grant, LaPlace was able to hire a music teacher to implement an instrumental music program that will now thrive with the instruments and equipment purchased and donated by the Foundation.

At a school wide assembly on Friday, Oct 30th, executives from Toyota and VH1 Save The Music met with the Principal and new music teacher and previewed the new music curriculum. Genre-defying artist Santigold was also on hand to treat the students to a live performance.

"Music has given me the opportunity to explore the world and connect with people internationally," says Santigold. "My music studies helped me turn my passion into my living and gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams and nurture my creativity. I am proud to support the VH1 Save the Music campaign and the students of LaPlace Elementary in New Orleans. All of our children deserve and need music education."

"Toyota is honored to help further music advocacy with a grant to support the creation of an instrumental music program at LaPlace Elementary School," says Steve Appelbaum, National Manager of Engagement Marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "A curriculum that includes music is invaluable in igniting the passion and curiosity that encourages thinking outside of the box. Music invites innovation - and innovation changes the world."

"We are so grateful for the Toyota's commitment as well as the participation of Santigold and all of the outstanding artists who lent their support and efforts in the music festivals and social media campaign," says Paul Cothran, Executive Director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. "Toyota's leadership and generosity in this highly successful campaign made it possible for the Foundation to provide a full package of instruments, restoring for the students of LaPlace Elementary School access to the exceptional benefits of music study, creative expression and opportunities for brighter futures."

"We are grateful that so many people would come together to help a school most probably haven't even heard of," says Superintendent Kevin George. "We would like them to know that our students are making music again and we are laying a foundation that we hope will follow them throughout their lives."

Special thanks to Tony Corley and Proclamation Audio.

About Santigold
Santigold is a genre-defying musician, style renegade, and visionary artist across multiple platforms celebrated for her fearless ability to fuse unexpected elements into bold new work. An artist whose perseverance relies on invention, her singular aesthetic has made her a major muse watched by the inspired world. Her sophmore album, Master of My Make Believe became her first #1 album,  topping the Billboard Dance/ Electronic albums chart. She's won an ASCAP Pop Music award (Vanguard Award), and has been nominated for a Q Award, MTV Europe Music Award, and BRIT Award. Her recent brand collaborations include a limited edition make up collection for Smashbox and an accesories collection for Stance. 

About VH1 Save The Music
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a non-profit committed to ensuring that music instruction is a core component to a complete education. Since 1997, we have partnered with more than 1900 public schools in 231 school districts to give children the tools and confidence to excel in academics and in life. #PassTheNote and get involved at vh1savethemusic.org join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @vh1savethemusic.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment.  As part of this commitment, we share the company's extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com

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