Music Generation today announced that it will expand into nine new areas of Ireland within five years, thanks to the ongoing support of U2 and The Ireland Funds who together will have raised a total of €6.3m for the program’s second phase. This combined investment in ‘Phase 2’ of Music Generation will include donations from the proceeds of U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, as well as donations previously raised for Music Generation through the band’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour in 2015, alongside further philanthropic investment by The Ireland Funds. A grant from Bank of America, through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, forms part of The Ireland Funds’ investment in this second phase of Music Generation.
Moreover, this next phase of Music Generation has been assured of long-term sustainability through a commitment by the Department of Education and Skills to co-fund the new areas into the future, together with Local Music Education Partnerships.
Currently Music Generation creates access to high-quality, subsidised music tuition for more than 41,000 children and young people annually in 12 areas of Ireland (Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Laois, Limerick City, Louth, Mayo, Offaly/Westmeath, Sligo, South Dublin and Wicklow). This ‘first phase’ of the programme was seed-funded through a €7m philanthropic donation by U2 and The Ireland Funds in 2009.
In January 2017, just over a year after confirming plans for further expansion, Music Generation launched an open national call for applications from new Music Education Partnerships to participate in ‘Phase 2’. As a result of U2 and The Ireland Funds’ combined donations, a total of 9 new areas will soon be selected for participation and rolled out on a phased basis between 2017 and 2021.
Speaking of this milestone achievement for music education in Ireland, U2’s The Edge said: ‘This is a really important moment for Music Generation. Our ambition is for every child and young person in Ireland to have access to tuition and this next phase of expansion brings us ever closer. Huge thanks to both the Government and The Ireland Funds for their ongoing commitment to a programme of which we, as a band, are immensely proud.’