Bono and U2 are widely known for their philanthropic generosity, but their latest cause is especially poignant.
The Dublin-based band, who started playing together as teenagers and have steadily marched their way into rock history, have donated $2.13 million (€2 million) to make sure that Irish children have access to music education.
In September of this year, U2 announced $2.13 million (€2 million) from their Irish concerts would be gifted to Music Generation, which provides access to high quality, subsidized music tuition for thousands of children and young people across the country.
A further $1.06 million (€1 million) will be donated by The Ireland Funds who, together with U2, seed-funded Music Generation’s first phase (2010 – 2015) with a $7.4 million (€7 million) donation – the largest ever philanthropic donation to music education in Ireland in the history of the state.
U2’s The Edge said: “Five years in, Music Generation is continuing to grow. Thanks to The Ireland Funds for adding €1m to the €2m from our Irish shows, it'll bring us closer to achieving our ambition for every child and young person in Ireland to have access to music tuition.”
Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds said, “We are thrilled to announce this additional gift of €1m to Music Generation. The impact of this innovative music education program has been extraordinary and brings so much benefit to young people and communities throughout Ireland. The Ireland Funds is delighted to be supporting this flagship initiative and, together with U2, will also seek to raise additional support as part of our commitment to unlocking the musical talents of the next generation.”
Responding to this latest, unprecedented gift to music education in Ireland, Rosaleen Molloy, National Director of Music Generation said, “Music Generation would not exist without the vision and philanthropic support of U2 and The Ireland Funds. It is this vision that has enabled us to successfully implement this ground-breaking music education program across 12 areas of the country, which now provides access for some 26,000 children and young people and creates employment opportunities some 330 people.”
“The reason why Music Generation has been such a success story is because of the partnership base that underpins how we work”, continued Rosaleen. “U2, The Ireland Funds, with the support of Bank of America, Music Network, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships together with the Arts Council and St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra are our key partners. Without their input and support Music Generation would not have been possible. The impact of the original €7m philanthropic donation from U2 and The Ireland Funds has been extraordinary. Every day, the lives of thousands of children and young people are being transformed through access to a variety of music tuition opportunities – everything from song-writing initiatives to brass bands, orchestras, choirs, rock groups, rap projects, grupaí cheoil and composers clubs. The original donation has seed-funded development and generated ongoing sustained 50/50 investment from the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.”
Music Network established Music Generation in 2010 following a €7m donation from U2 (€5m) and The Ireland Funds (€2m) to implement its national strategy for music education in Ireland.
Take a look at some of the work they do in the following video: