Dear Friends,

As the year comes to a close, I’m reaching out to you with a heartfelt message of gratitude from all of us here at Pianos for People. Though our community continues to deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to continue our work as strongly as ever, thanks to the support of many of you.

It was a year in which we celebrated our 300th piano donation, earning significant local media attention in the process. The wonderful story of Laurie Bowen, our generous piano donor, and Amani Dugger, our grateful recipient, perfectly illustrated why we believe so strongly in this work.

With our cautious return to in-person teaching, one of our primary goals for the year was to build our free piano school enrollment back to its pre-pandemic level of 160, before the required conversion to an online format last year lead to an inevitable decline. We spent the summer engaged in novel outreach and marketing efforts, and I’m happy to say that it paid off, as our enrollment is now at 172.

2021 will also be remembered as the year that we launched a new partnership with the St. Louis Public Schools, as part of an exciting new effort among numerous local arts organizations to revitalize historic Sumner High School. For the first time, we are teaching a Beginner Piano class as part of a traditional school day curriculum, thanks to the dedication of our Piano School Director Kayia Baker, and teachers Mike Carosello and Antonio Foster.

In the second half of the year we received an unprecedented amount of national media coverage, starting with articles in the Christian Science Monitor and Washington Post, followed by feature segments on NBC Nightly News and ABC World News Tonight. That priceless publicity brought us many new friends and supporters from around the country, including some of you who are receiving our year-end message for the first time. Potentially, the most far-reaching aspect of that coverage was hearing from many like-minded piano patrons asking us to start operations in their cities. Our focus will remain on the St. Louis area, but we’re proud to serve as a model for any similar efforts.

None of these accomplishments would have been possible without your continued belief in, and continued support of, our mission and the transformative power of music. And for that we are exceptionally grateful. If you have not already made a contribution this year, it’s not too late to do so - the button at the bottom of this message makes it very easy!

Again, thank you so much for your continued support of Pianos for People. In 2022 we will proudly celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Jeanne and Tom Townsend starting Pianos for People, and we remain dedicated to expanding and improving our efforts, and this organization. We sincerely wish all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Matt Brinkmann

Executive Director

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