The Challenge

Despite its strong cultural assets, Memphis is facing a difficult socioeconomic climate and many challenges serve as critical barriers to youth success.


of Memphis youth live below the poverty line

More Than


of youth in many of Memphis' most underserved neighborhoods won't graduate from high school.

Less Than


of Memphis youth have access to after-school music programming compared to 15-20% in similar cities.

The Opportunity

Research demonstrates the powerful role music engagement focused youth development activities can play in equipping youth with the skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed to overcome these barriers and succeed in school and life.

Strengthening problem-solving skills

Encouraging communication and creative expression

Teaching tenacity and the value of hard work

Deepening engagement in school and learning community

Our Approach


Sustain existing in-school music education and expand instruction through partnerships with local musicians

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MMI Works

Expand high-quality out-of-school time programs to reach more youth and remove barriers to youth engagement and participation

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Grantmaking & Capacity Building

We invest to build strong and effective organizations through operational grant funding and supports that foster sustainability and improve program quality.

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See How We Got To This Approach