The Primavera Fund
Envisioning a world in which every young musician is given the opportunity to succeed

Why?

Why we do what we do

Why is The Primavera Fund unique?

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Despite communication being easier and faster than ever before, studies show that young people especially feel increasingly isolated, judged, bullied, and threatened. Children and adults have committed suicide over the perfect selfie, online bullying is at an all time high, and rancor between classes, religions, political beliefs, the sexes, and races is more pronounced than ever. All one needs to do is read the comments or follow a long Twitter feed to see just how ugly things can get. Our young people are ill-equipped to handle this ugliness and to protect their own inner identity. They long for connection in a world of judgement, but with the rise of online degree programs, social media, the perfect selfie, and video conferencing, self-isolation has become an epidemic. These tools, designed for efficiency, stifle human contact and support, two crucial ingredients in self-actualization. Self-worth is measured in followers, not in friends. This dismissal of the inner you for the outer you becomes more and more ingrained as shallow admiration is confused for love and support.

When you believe that you aren’t good at anything, it’s easy to give up on everything.
— Zebadiah Coombs, our first Primavera Artist

Children of color, LGBTQ kids, and those from financially challenged communities are at particular risk for depression and self-sabotage stemming from these factors. Their accomplishments are often made in spite of social and financial barriers, only to be diminished as being because of affirmative action, special programs, and other non-truths designed to kill their sense of pride. They often work harder than their affluent peers, but are graded more harshly, passed over for opportunities, and assumed to be less capable as they move through the world. As a result, they tell themselves that their dreams are unattainable, so why even try?

Classical music is about the human condition through time. It reflects who we are, were, and could possibly be. It is the present, the past, and the future all at once. For children from disadvantaged communities, this is a godsend. It taps into an inner world that is frequently threatened within their communities, and sometimes within their own homes. The artist of color will live most of his or her life in isolation both from the affluent, traditionally white high art world, as well as from the community from which they come because of jealousy and a lack of understanding as to why this person has to be so different. They are shunned from all sides, learning that their own voice is in itself a threat to their survival. At the same time, their voice is their most certain tool for success.

When I founded the Primavera Fund it was on the principle that good art should be supported. Full stop. Not because it looks a certain way, not because it has already had ample opportunities to prove its worth, and not because it has its own support network on which to rely. The Primavera Fund is that for our Artists. Why nurture their dreams and efforts? Because they have every right to have their voices heard in the world. They have something to say. They have a song to sing. A song that we need to hear. The world suffers when creativity is silenced by assumptions, judgments, roadblocks, and financial barriers. We, those who love art, lose as much as they do.

Our greatest accomplishment is the sense of hope that is restored in our Artists. They live their lives every day as a testament to our support. It is true that without us they would probably not have accomplished what they have, but it is also true that without the wealth of talent waiting to be nurtured, we would not have the opportunity to know, hear, and be part of the incredible talents and successes of the Primavera Artists. As a mentoring program that focuses on each artist in a wholistic way, we ensure their path to success by relieving them of fear of failure. Our financial support is fully matched by our unwavering personal commitment to each Artist as an individual.

Thank you for your interest in The Primavera Fund. Let's create a future together in which talent is never lost because of financial barriers. 

-Rachel segal, executive director