State Farm Neighborhood Sessions celebrates great artists who inspire us to give back to our neighborhoods. The goal of this project was to work alongside R&B and pop singer, Usher, to identify and strategize a plan of implementation for seed funds from State Farm to create a sustained program within Hamilton County, Tennessee that suited Usher's philanthropic interests of music, arts and education.
On September 9, 2016, Usher went home to Chattanooga to perform a surprise concert for the community. Community members were surprised with free concert tickets as part of an art supply drive at a local radio station. The concert documentary aired on TNT as a part of the Neighborhood Sessions documentary series.
As a result of the seed funding, Hamilton County received several resources for the next 3 years, including an additional full time music teacher, after school programming, and more.
Entertain Impact worked with Usher, his team, the local Department of Education, arts organization leaders, school leaders, and community members in Chattanooga, TN to identify the best way to implement an array of music and arts opportunities for young people in Hamilton County. Together, we strategized a longterm plan for sustained programming created with the initial seed funding.
In 2016 in Hamilton County, 32 of the 43 elementary schools did not have music or arts programming within the curriculum. Through our work with Jazzanooga, the Hamilton County Department of Education and ArtsBuild, additional art and music education opportunities were brought to young people across the region.
Our team worked to support the Nancy Lackey Community Education Fund, named in honor of Usher's late grandmother. The fund supports art and music education in Chattanooga and Hamilton County's elementary schools, and is administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.
The concert, held at Usher's middle school, raised awareness both within Hamilton County and across the United States when 300,000+ people tuned in to the TV special on TNT.
Through the Neighborhood Sessions concert, we were able to raise funds for music and arts education in Hamilton County, TN. Approximately 2000 people attended the concert, which meant that 2000+ school supplies were donated to Hamilton County public schools.
The seed funding provided:
-1 full time music teacher for a 3 year period
-Afterschool programming year round
-Teaching Artists for a month of music in 30 elementary schools
-Saturday art and music classes (These classes have helped the Guatemalan population within Hamilton County get involved providing time for parents and children.)
-Future Impact: The present resources this opportunity provided to strategize and launch a program for music and arts education in Hamilton County can become a sustaining program if absorbed by the local Department of Education through advocacy work.
The special on TNT received a viewership of 364,000.