FleishmanHillard Builds on the Foundations of Music

July 16, 2019

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When we started at FleishmanHillard’s Chicago office in 2016 after graduating from college, we both wanted to find ways to become involved with office committees and outside organizations to contribute to our new community. When our supervisors provided an opportunity to work on FleishmanHillard Chicago’s pro-bono, FH4Inclusion client, Foundations of Music (FoM), we were more than happy to jump in and help.

Foundations of Music is a licensed Illinois 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the leader in providing fundamental music education during the school day. For 30 years, the nonprofit has used music to strengthen Chicago communities by partnering with Chicago Public Schools in the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. FoM’s music curriculum aims to spark creativity and passion, teach critical thinking, support academic achievement and – most importantly – enrich young lives. Recent studies show that there is a direct link between music education and better math scores, computer skills, language learning, cognitive growth, emotional well-being and a positive self-image.

The organization works with professional musicians to develop and implement lesson plans that are inspired by a curriculum map which meets national arts learning standards. Programs include General Music Class, Songwriting/Production Class and other performance opportunities. During the 2017-2018 school year, Foundations of Music served more than 5,000 students at almost 40 Chicago Public Schools.

Given our love for music and passion for education for all, this project was a perfect fit.

While the organization is present at a lot of schools in the Chicago area, its visibility in the community needed a boost. FleishmanHillard was tasked with promoting fundraisers and creating content that would get the word out about all the great work this organization does and get others in Chicago, who also share this passion for music education, involved.

FleishmanHillard’s FoM team attending the organization’s annual fundraiser in 2017.

Since beginning our work with FoM more than five years ago, the team has supported the organization through leadership shifts, change in headquarters, re-brands of fundraising events and an updated logo, all to better match the organization’s forward trajectory and reach a younger audience with a passion for music. The team also worked with local businesses like Girl and the Goat and Goose Island Brewery to further connect FoM with the Chicago community. From Pitchfork (a local music festival) to the foundation’s annual fundraising event, team members of FleishmanHillard’s Chicago office not only promoted but also attended and volunteered at these events to make sure they ran without a glitch.

FoM and FleishmanHillard team promoting the organization to tenants in the Aon Center.

Through many iterations and changes, we’re now assisting the organization with a merger with another education-focused nonprofit in the city. This merger will allow both organizations to reach even more students, while also providing new areas of education beyond music—including art, cultural and literacy programs.

We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with FoM and witnessing how the organization will continue to support the children at Chicago Public Schools who would not receive these education programs without them. The organization is excited to expand its work and presence, and we’re excited to contribute our public relations expertise to spread the word about the important mission to better our city and enrich the lives of its inhabitants.

Meg Patrick (left) and Genna Pirrong (right) with FoM Executive Director, Brenda Fineberg (center) at FoM’s annual fundraiser in 2019.

Click here to hear one of the student group’s amazing songs created through programs put on by Foundations of Music!

Meg Patrick supports the Brand Marketing team and Genna Pirrong works with our Corporate Reputation team in FleishmanHillard’s Chicago office.