West Liberty High School Band Receives Racial Justice Grant
The West Liberty High School Band has served the community since its inception in 1938. The music program plans to use the grant to create the Los Cometas Mariachi band. Funding will be used for students of any socioeconomic status to participate in the program by funding all necessary instruments, instruction, and sheet music. This will also allow them to hire local community musicians from West Liberty and Muscatine to assist in teaching lessons and rehearsals, enabling them to uplift Latinx voices and maintain the integrity and authenticity of the mariachi tradition.
West Liberty represents the first majority Hispanic town in the state of Iowa, and their school district features the second K-12 dual-language program in the state. This program will offer equity in access to the materials and instructions needed for participation in a school mariachi ensemble. Everyone in the community will be able to expand their understanding of and respect for the Mexican culture.
“Adding a mariachi component to our instrumental music programs is one strategy to improve the equity within the programs,” stated Ashley Smith, the Director of Bands at West Liberty High School. “This will help increase participation in music for students and families that are not being served by our music education ensembles.”
To learn more, donate, or to apply for funding for a racial justice project, please visit muscatinecommunityfoundation.org/racial-justice-fund or call 563-264-3863.