Kev Marcus and Wil B, instrumentalists of the hip-hop and classical music fusion duo Black Violin. Photos courtesy of the Black Violin Foundation
“We want to empower youth to color outside of the lines and push the boundaries of music through innovation.”
The Black Violin Foundation, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was created by Kev Marcus and Wil B, instrumentalists of the hip-hop and classical music fusion duo Black Violin, to “empower youth by working with them in their communities to provide access to quality music programs that encourage creativity.” The Black Violin Foundation serves as an extension of what Black Violin does in front of audiences worldwide: prove to young people that they can be themselves and still be successful. The Foundation is co-directed by Anne Sylvester, wife of Kev Marcus, and Corryn Freeman, wife of Wil B. “Our long-term goal is to empower youth to color outside of the lines and push the boundaries of music through innovation,” says Anne Sylvester.
From left: Kev Marcus, Anne Sylvester (Foundation President), Corryn Freeman (Foundation Vice President), and Wil B. Photo by David I Muir.
Through its three programs, the Foundation provides opportunities for youth of all strides and backgrounds. “Everything we do has soul! Our whole organizational objective is to help youth bring their own individual essence to the realm of classical musicianship.” The James Miles Musical Innovation Grant for Continuing Education provides scholarships of up to $2,500 to young musicians. The Dreamer Diversity Equity & Inclusion Grant to give young Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) access to music lessons or continuing education. Their Dreamer Instrument Access program is a partnership with the Baroque Violin Shop to provide beginner and advanced students with string instruments based on need.
Black Violin partners with Turnaround Arts in Broward County to perform at the opening of the Reach at the Kennedy Center in 2019.
2021 applications will be available soon. “We are preparing our 2021 program applications so we can serve the music community,” says Corryn Freeman. “Applications will be made available for all programs on June 1, 2021.” The Black Violin Foundation is gearing up for another year of giving brilliant musicians a helping hand.