The Pittsburgh Foundation

Sean Baker

Sean Baker, photo credit: Colleen Stepanian
Sean Baker, photo credit: Colleen Stepanian

2023 grant amount: $50,000 over two years

According to the latest census data, 32.1% of Homestead's residents live below the poverty line. Homestead and its surrounding neighborhoods comprise the Mon Valley and are largely experiencing the same alarming numbers of an economically disadvantaged population. Because poverty largely affects children and their access to opportunities that can enrich, empower and expose them to lifelong skills, Baker Music School’s goal is to launch the SOUL EXPEDITION BOOTCAMP.

Beginning in January 2024, this project aims to eliminate the cost barrier and allow low-income students to enroll in private group lessons with Sean Baker and his music staff. Each month throughout the school year, elementary and middle school students will choose a music pathway (piano, drums, guitar or bass) and learn among others who have chosen the same for an introduction to the instrument, musical concepts, the art of collaboration, music theory and performance. As the students continue to develop, they will be introduced to music production and will have the opportunity to record an original song.

SOUL EXPEDITION BOOTCAMP will empower and equip the next generation of Black students to gain a viable skill and eliminate the issues of access to enriching after-school programming.  Led and taught by Black artists, SOUL EXPEDITION BOOTCAMP will provide opportunities for the current generation of Black artists to guide and shape the future of Black artistry for the next generation.
Due to Baker Music School currently functioning as an online/traveling school, the desire is to hold the boot camps in a brick-and-mortar location, preferably in Homestead.