Musical Instrument Donation Drive to Benefit Cleveland Children Begins on

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Severance Hall


CLEVELAND, OH – On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 21, 2019, from 12 – 5 p.m., a group of five Cleveland nonprofit and public organizations will kick off a three month donation drive for gently-used musical instruments. The instruments will be assessed, repaired, and gifted to children participating in recreation center programs in the Glenville Neighborhood in Cleveland’s 9th Ward. The effort is a collaboration of Arts Cleveland, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, Cleveland City Council, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and The Cleveland Orchestra. The goal of Play It Forward Cleveland! is to give children the opportunity to experience the pride, joy, and lifetime benefits music-making provides.

The community will have three opportunities to drop off previously loved, playable instruments at Severance Hall, home of The Cleveland Orchestra, located at 11001 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, in University Circle. A drive-up collection area will be set up on East Boulevard near Euclid Avenue onMonday, January 21 and Sunday, February 17 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Saturday, March 9 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. On January 21, those donating instruments are also welcome to visit Severance Hall for The Cleveland Orchestra’s Community Open House, a free and open-to-the-public event featuring musical performances from community groups and fun family-friendly activities.

Gently-used instruments will be accepted including those requiring minor repairs (no toy instruments or large instruments such as pianos, organs, etc. will be accepted). Donors will be asked to complete a short form so that a verified donation receipt can be provided. The donation form can be filled out in advance, and is available at

Individuals without instruments who would like to support this program may contribute to the Instrument Repair Fund by visiting

For many, it is difficult to imagine a world without music. But for countless children in Cleveland, this is the reality. Cleveland City Councilman, Kevin Conwell, initially envisioned this instrument donation drive and brought the concept to Arts Cleveland following his recognition at their 2018 Public Officials Recognition Breakfast for his efforts to support arts and culture. As Cleveland and Cuyahoga County’s ambassador of arts and culture, Arts Cleveland invited The Cleveland Orchestra, Center for Arts Inspired Learning, and Cleveland Metropolitan School District to partner in this project. These organizations each have substantial efforts underway in providing Cleveland children with access to music, music education and the equipment needed to implement such programming. More information about each organization can be found on their websites and below.

About the Collaborators

  • Arts Cleveland works to advance the arts and culture community in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.
  • The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning ignites student learning, creativity, and success through the arts.
  • Cleveland City Council, the legislative branch of the City of Cleveland, serves citizens by monitoring city departments, approving budgets, and enacting legislation to improve the quality of life in an effective and financially responsible way.
  • The Cleveland Metropolitan School District envisions 21st Century Schools of Choice where students will be challenged with a rigorous curriculum that considers the individual learning styles, program preferences and academic capabilities of each student, while utilizing the highest quality professional educators, administrators and support staff available.
  • At Severance Hall, Blossom Music Center, and in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio communities, The Cleveland Orchestra inspires and enriches lives by creating extraordinary musical experiences at the highest level of artistic excellence. As the Orchestra embarks on its Second Century, its vision and aspirational goal is to provide An Instrument for Every Child in the Cleveland area, enabling more children to play music and reap the lifelong benefits that music study provides.
Tess Abney is a freelance writer who was born and raised in the Quad Cities. She spends most of her time attempting to successfully raise three boys. In her free time, writing is her passion. Whether it is sharing local events and businesses with readers or sharing her thoughts on life, she finds comfort in the way words can bring people together.