Fame News

Community Impact Grants


PHOTO ID: Front Row (L to R): Cheryl Higgins, United Way NCA Prince George’s Regional Council; Khari Brown, Executive Director, Capital Partners for Education; Rushern L. Baker, III, Prince George’s County Executive; Rosie Allen-Herring, President and CEO, United Way NCA;  Marcus Clifton, Esq., Chair, United Way NCA Prince George’s Regional Council; Marcus Daniels, United Way NCA Prince George’s Regional Council

Back Row (L to R): Jackie Rhone, Community Impact Chair, United Way NCA Prince George’s Regional Council; Ron Wiles, Program Manager, Employment Services,  Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute;  Zakiyah Williams, Assistant Shelter Manager, Shepherds Cove, United Communities Against Poverty; Katie Meixner, Side by Side, Inc.; Joe Murchison,  Executive Director, Side by Side, Inc.; Sophie Ford, Executive Director, Family Crisis Center of Prince George’s County; A. Toni Lewis, Executive Director, FAME; Timothy Johnson, Vice President, Community Impact, United Way NCA; Claudia R. Raskin, M.Ed., Executive Director, Community Support Systems, Inc.; Robyn R. Owens, Director, Corporate Partnerships, United Way NCA; and Sharon Zimmerman, Community Engagement Manager, United Way NCA.

Photos courtesy of: Hyon Smith of Hyon Smith Photograph


We invite you to post and share either or both of these this on your websites and via email and social media as you wish.  Please include United Way NCA’s handle, @UWNCA, and #CommunityImpact  on all tweets



CONTACT: Julie Rosenthal, JR Communications


Kimberly Bronow, JR Communications




Local Dollars Target Local Education, Financial Stability and Health Critical Needs

WASHINGTON, DC, January 28, 2015 – Today, United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) announced that it is awarding Community Impact grants totaling $100,000 to seven nonprofit member organizations serving Prince George’s County. Each of the grants directly addresses United Way NCA’s focus areas of education, financial stability and health. This year United Way NCA is awarding over $1 million in Community Impact grants to member nonprofits serving the National Capital Area thanks to the support of employees participating in 800 workplace giving campaigns at more than 3,000 locations throughout the greater Washington region.

The grantees were honored at a ceremony this morning with Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, and members of the Prince George’s County Council. Specifically, the Prince George’s County grantees are: Capital Partners for Education, Community Support Systems, Inc., Family Crisis Center of Prince George’s County, Inc., Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education, Inc., Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, Side by Side, Inc., and United Communities Against Poverty, Inc.

The grant awarded to the Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education (FAME) will help provide summer music and academic enrichment activities for Prince George’s County middle school youth. “The United Way NCA Community Impact grant enables FAME to offer programs and activities that fill the void where in-school and afterschool cultural arts programs have been drastically reduced or eliminated and as the need for meaningful summer and afterschool activities for economically challenged youth continues to grow,” said FAME Executive Director A. Toni Lewis. “These programs provide a comprehensive, technology-rich, creativity-based learning environment and participants go on to pursue college degrees and future careers in music.”

Capital Partners for Education (CPE) will use the Community Impact funds to support one-on-one mentoring and college and career readiness programming for motivated, low-income students. “Community Impact funds will be used to cover college and career preparatory workshops and program materials, mentor training and matching expenses, a career fair, and enrichment activities,” said CPE Director, Development and Communications, Genette Comfort. “By providing CPE students with the tools and resources to get to and through college, CPE is broadening our students’ personal and professional opportunities and ultimately working to break the cycle of poverty in their families.”

Every year, United Way NCA solicits Community Impact funding proposals from its member nonprofit organizations for specific programs and work in United Way NCA’s focus areas of education, financial stability and health. The funding decision process includes recommendations from regional volunteer, citizen-led task forces working with United Way NCA’s Regional Councils, as well as area nonprofits, governments, and business leaders, to determine where there are gaps in services and where the funds will do the most good.

“The Community Impact Fund and grant program serves Prince George’s County, as well as all of United Way NCA’s regions, so well because the organizations that receive Community Impact grants do an amazing job of transforming those funds into tangible help for the community at large,” said Marcus Clifton, Chair, United Way NCA Prince George’s County Regional Council. “With more funding, the reach of the United Way and its grant recipients can make an even greater impact.”

All donors to United Way NCA have the option of directing their workplace giving pledge to the Community Impact Fund for any of United Way NCA’s eight regions: Alexandria, Arlington, District of Columbia, Fairfax/Falls Church, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Prince William counties. These funds help United Way NCA solve critical challenges facing these communities that no one person, nonprofit, or company can address alone. Across the National Capital Area this year, United Way NCA is awarding a total of 77 Community Impact grants to 65 nonprofit member organizations.

“United Way NCA’s Community Impact grant process helps us rally and focus the nonprofit community around shared goals and outcomes by combining the power of local giving, local knowledge and collective action to create maximum impact as we address the most pressing needs in each of our eight regions,” said Rosie Allen-Herring, President and CEO, United Way NCA. “Today we honor the generosity of Prince George’s County employees and employers, the time and care taken by the volunteer selection committee and the Prince George’s County Regional Council, and the vital work of the grantee organizations.”

About United Way of the National Capital Area

Focusing on the critical areas of education, financial stability and health, United Way of the National Capital Area and its nonprofit members not only provide immediate relief of social problems affecting the community, but also work to alleviate the underlying causes of these issues. Serving the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for nearly 40 years, United Way of the National Capital Area works to inspire acts of caring, deliver hope and improve lives. In total, United Way of the National Capital Area raises approximately $30 million each year to address the needs of the community. For more information about United Way of the National Capital Area, visit UnitedWayNCA.org.

Beats Books & Hooks Summer Program

Enjoy a unique summer music and education program that strengthens academic performance using music as a basis for engagement. This program is designed for students entering grades 8 through 12. Students will have the opportunity to:

PROGRAM DATES – Wise High School
Week 1 – June 19-23, 2018
Week 2 – June 26- 30, 2018

• Explore cutting edge recording software, i.e. Pro Tools, Sibelius & Garage Band

• Enjoy a Songwriter’s workshop conducted by a Grammy nominated National Recording Artist

• Participate in master classes, lecture, and demonstrations

• Develop proficiency in computer technology

• Produce finished CD and MP3 files to share digitally and publish online

• Be introduced to Financial Literacy

• Prepare a college portfolio

• Participate in a mock music audition

• Learn proper use of social media and other online tools, and Much More!


Click here for Online Registration

Click here for the Application (pdf) or (doc)

Click here for the Flyer

Click here for the Nomination Form


A teacher nomination form is required for each applicant.

BB&H flyer r10

Summer Music Technology Program


Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education


Applications are open for FAME’s Summer Music Technology Program, at the beautiful, state-of-the-art and friendly atmosphere of our partner the University of Maryland College Park School of Music, 2110 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. This no-cost program is designed for Prince George’s County MD students entering grades 8 through 12.

Each student is given ample opportunities to:

  • Explore cutting edge recording software, i.e. Pro Tools, Sibelius & Garage Band
  • Experiment with music composition
  • Learn about and prepare for education and career opportunities in music
  • Develop proficiency in computer technology
  • Produce finished CD and MP3 files to share digitally and publish online
  • Enjoy Master Classes with recording artists, engineers and producers
  • Learn proper use of social media and other online tools

Applicants must submit a nomination form from a music teacher, and each selected student will receive full scholarship and a certificate of completion. The program culminates with a showcase of students’ creative projects.


9:00am – 4:00pm daily: Week A: July 6 -10, 2015 Or Week B: July 13 -17, 2015

Registration deadline: March 31, 2015


or Call 301.805.5358


This program made possible in part by funding from: Prince George’s County Community Partnership Grant; Prince George’s County Council Members: Andrea Harrison (District 5), Derrick Leon Davis (District 6), Obie Patterson (District 8) and Mel Franklin (District 9); and United Way of the National Capital Area.







Tis The Season



Get Your Tickets Now!



Or if you like to Donate

FAME relies on private support to fund and maintain its music and education programs. There are several options for you to help us keep the music playing in the hearts of our youth.


To submit your contribution by mail, complete this donation form and mail to FAME at
P O Box 2228,
Bowie, Maryland  20718-2228.

To contribute via phone, please contact FAME at 301-805-5358.

Your donation is eligible to be claimed as a charitable contribution to the extent permitted by law.
No goods or services were provided to you in exchange for this contribution.
FAME’s Tax ID Number is 59-3836026.

FEAT U R I N G Bowie State University Community Jazz Band Ensemble, Artist Irvin Scacy Haywood & Talented local youth musicians and dancers

Saturday, December 13, 2014 • 5PM

Bowie State University Fine and Performing Arts Center/Main Stage Theater 14000 Jericho Park Rd Bowie, MD 20715 Admission $15     Presented by Fine and Performing Arts Center In partnership with The Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education, Inc. (FAME)     Tickets & information: 301.805.5358 info@fameorg.org Purchase tickets online at www.fameorg.org/TisTheSeason

If you would like to fill out an order form and drop it in the mail click here for pdf

Washington Informer Celebrates Local Influencers

D. Kevin McNeir | 10/29/2014, 3 p.m.


Everyone loves a party especially when they hold the coveted position as the guest of honor.

And to pay tribute to the contributions of leaders from the community, The Washington Informer recently hosted a 50th anniversary reception that allowed participants to reflect on the newspaper’s 50 years of service.

“This paper was founded 50 years ago by Dr. Calvin Rolark because he wanted to provide a vehicle for sharing positive news about D.C.’s black community,” said Ron Burke, advertising and marketing director, The Washington Informer.

The Washington Informer's 50th Anniversary celebration honored 50 Influencers including radio talk show host and activist Joe Madison (right), who shared reflections about his first meeting with Informer founder/publisher Dr. Calvin W. Rolark. He led the audience in Rolark’s iconic quote, "If it is to be, it is up to me."

The Washington Informer’s 50th Anniversary celebration honored 50 Influencers including radio talk show host and activist Joe Madison (right), who shared reflections about his first meeting with Informer founder/publisher Dr. Calvin W. Rolark. He led the audience in Rolark’s iconic quote, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

“Now his daughter, Denise Rolark Barnes, continues that legacy despite the challenges that we and others in print media face today. This evening is about looking back, looking forward and recognizing 50 local trailblazers,” Burke said.

The 50th anniversary influencers’ reception, held at the Carnegie Library in Northwest on Thursday, Oct. 23, marked the last of a series of events sponsored by the newspaper to mark its five decades of weekly news coverage of events in the Greater Washington Area.

The festive affair included performances by the Urban Nation Hip-Hop Choir and students from Richard Wright Public Charter School, a presentation by Jacqueline Woody, special assistant in the Office of the Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and words of congratulations from some of the District’s most respected business and community leaders.

“We thank you for the excellent coverage you’ve given us for 50 years and we encourage all those present to utilize the essential local and regional information that this paper provides every week,” Woody said.

The District’s top official, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, praised The Informer for a job well done.

“This is hugely important,” said Gray, a vocal supporter of the newspaper.

“It is such a positive statement that The Informer has made in 50 years. People generally stumble coming up with the names of other newspapers after The Washington Informer but The Informer has been here for 50 years and the content is extraordinary,” said Gray, 71.

Joe Madison, one of the honorees and often considered the dean of D.C. journalism, agreed.

“The black press is extremely important because while we read The Washington Post, when you see the columns and stories in The Informer, it’s for us,” Madison said.

“Don’t undervalue, underestimate or marginalize this paper. These stories are those that other publications don’t think are important. Most of us wouldn’t have known about Emmett Till or Martin Luther King, Jr. if it wasn’t for the black press. The white press didn’t cover what King did because they didn’t want to give him exposure. The black press put him on the map,” said Madison, 65, an award-winning talkshow host often referred to as “The Black Eagle.”

One representative from Pepco Holdings, Inc., which served as the title sponsor for the evening, said her company has been supporting The Informer since it first opened its doors.

“We have been advertising with The Washington Informer since 1964 – 50 years ago – and we applaud the paper’s publisher for continuing the work that was started by her father,” said Donna Cooper, president of the electric service provider with customers in D.C., Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Read More

Music therapy improves self esteem, eases depression in kids and teens

By Rhodi Lee, Tech Times | October 26, 12:56 AM

Growing up can be tough for some kids but findings of a new research suggest that parents whose children suffer from depression and behavioral problems can turn to music therapy as this may help troubled kids and teens.

children-playing-guitarFor the new study spanning a three year period starting in March 2011 to May 2014, researchers from the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust and Queen’s University Belfast gathered and analyzed the data of a group of young individuals who were receiving treatment for emotional, development or behavioral problems.

Study researcher Sam Porter, from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University, and colleagues divided the 251 participants into two groups. The first group, which was consist of 128 individuals, received traditional therapy while the second group composed of 123 individuals, were assigned to receive music therapy along with the usual care.

By the end of the study, the researchers found that the children who were given music therapy exhibited increased self-esteem and reduced depressive symptoms. They also significantly improved their communication and interactive skills compared with the participants who only received traditional therapy. Follow-ups made after the study also found that the beneficial effects of music therapy can be sustained for a long time.

Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust chief executive Ciara Reilly said that music therapy is often used with kids who had mental health needs and the results of the study mark the first time that the effectiveness of this alternative treatment is shown in a randomized study.

“The findings are dramatic and underscore the need for music therapy to be made available as a mainstream treatment option,” Reilly said. “For a long time we have relied on anecdotal evidence and small-scale research findings about how well music therapy works. Now we have robust clinical evidence to show its beneficial effects.”

Figures from the National Institutes of Mental Health show that about 11 percent of children below 18 years old have symptoms of depressive disorder and popular treatment methods currently used include psychotherapy and use of antidepressant medications, which is known to be associated with increased suicidal risks.

The researchers of the study hope that the results of the research, which was presented at Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast on Thursday, Oct. 23, would encourage mental health institution and mental health experts to consider music therapy as a treatment option for young individuals with mental health needs and behavioral problems.


Read more: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/18759/20141026/music-therapy-improves-self-esteem-eases-depression-in-kids-and-teens.htm#ixzz3Igj6auUz

Bowie nonprofit celebrates a decade of FAME


More than one thousand youths have taken part in organization’s activities

By Emilie Eastman Staff Writer

Bowie resident Toni Lewis’ music and education nonprofit started as a single scholarship donation in the amount of $1,500 to Prince George’s Community College in 2004.

Ten years later, the Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education impacts approximately 1,200 Prince George’s County students annually through education programs, scholarships and events, and donates tens of thousands of dollars worth of musical equipment to county schools.

While Lewis said she has no background in music herself, she said she recognized the importance of offering musical and creative opportunities to children and providing them possible career paths. Read More

Youth Learn Rubrics of Music Production

FAME Camp Provides Tools to Make Dreams Come True


By D. Kevin McNeir

Summertime has traditionally allowed children to sleep in late, play all of their favorite video games and, if they’re lucky, take a road trip to visit relatives that they only see once a year.

However, for a small group of determined youth, mostly from Prince George’s County, this summer has shown them that it’s never too early to begin working toward realizing their dreams.

“I’m encouraging young people to remain focused, to continue to pursue their goals to get into the music industry and even assisting in the classroom where they’re learning the latest computer software essential to those who want to work in music production,” said Asa DeShields, a Bowie State University sophomore who serves as an intern for the Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education [FAME] Summer Music Program. “I was once a student in this program and because of the exposure I received, the skills I learned, I was hired this summer to help those who are coming behind me,” said DeShields, 18, a 2013 graduate of Central High School in Capitol Heights, Maryland.

FAME, supported by the Community Foundation National Harbor Grant, the United Way of the National Capital Area and Prince George’s County government, collaborates with its partners to provide grants for the majority of the students so they can attend the camp. For two weeks, students meet for five days of instruction. The program began on the campus of Bowie State University and has since shifted to the University of Maryland where it will end on July 18. Read More

This Week on Our World: Grammy Winner John Legend Fights to Educate Our Kids

Also: the state of our education system and an after-school program out to save at-risk youth


This week on Our World with Black Enterprise, host Marc Lamont Hill sits down with Grammy Award-winning singer and philanthropist John Legend, who talks about what it took for him to make it in the music industry and his battle to improve access to a quality education for all Americans. On his latest album, Wake Up! a collaboration with The Roots, Legend sings socially and politically driven soul and R&B “protest music” from the ’60s and ’70s to bring some of today’s most pressing issues to the forefront.

Legend issues a "Wake-Up!" call (Image: Lonnie C. Major)

Legend issues a “Wake-Up!” call (Image: Lonnie C. Major)

“We need to do more to make sure every kid has a quality education,” Legend said when interviewed by Hill. “It’s particularly poignant in the Black and Latino communities because we’re losing so many of our kids, particularly our young men. We end up blaming the students or their parents, but their parents were in the same system 20 years ago and we’re expecting different results but not changing the system.” Read FULL ARTICLE


FAME camp helps teens fulfill musical dreams

 June 27
During the FAME camp, students got the chance to put music to their poems and other lyrics. (Hamil Harris/The Washington Post)

During the FAME camp, students got the chance to put music to their poems and other lyrics. (Hamil Harris/The Washington Post)

During the FAME camp, students got the chance to put music to their poems and other lyrics. (Hamil Harris/The Washington Post)

Even though her mom lives in Wisconsin and her father is in prison, 16-year-old Imani Robinson easily filled a rehearsal room at Bowie State University with joyful sounds of inspiration as award-winning pianist and choir director Emory Andrews softly tapped on ivory keys in the background.

“Sometimes you have to encourage yourself. Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test,” sang Robinson. “No matter how you feel, just speak the words and you will be healed. Speak boldly over yourself! Encourage yourself in the Lord!”

As Robinson sang, other students worked on their projects during the last day of a one week summer camp that was created to connect some of the most talented students in the region with artistic professionals regardless of their economic or social background.

“This is about giving opportunities for children to have access to the best in terms of music and facilities,” said Toni Lewis, founder of the Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education, better known as FAME. “A lot of these children don’t get opportunities in their schools because music has been cancelled or in other cases they don’t have the necessary equipment.”

Aspiring actress Imani Robinson, 16, is singing and composing music at camp. (Hamil harris/The Washington Post)

Aspiring actress Imani Robinson, 16, is singing and composing music at camp. (Hamil harris/The Washington Post)

In addition to being exposed to professionals like Andrews, campers also learn about music theory and vocals as well as the business and technical sides of a musical production. Sessions 1 and 2 were held at Bowie State, and sessions 3 and 4 will be held at the University of Maryland School of Music from July 7-11 and July 14-18.

Bowie State Assistant Professor Gilbert Pryor has been the coordinator for the summer program at Bowie, which is called “Beats, Books and Hooks,” and according to Pryor, “in the three years that the programs has been in existence, I have seen some wonderful kids from our area schools who come here and grow.”


 Robinson, who is being raised by her grandparents in Northeast Washington, said one thing that she has learned from being in this camp is seizing the moment, and to “take advantage of the opportunities that you will be receiving, because you will not always get second chances.” Read More

RARE End of the Year Ceremony

Academic Achievement Award_Nasier Elam

Concerned Citizens Network of Alexandria (CCNA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit,  held its end of year ceremony on May 29th for its academic program “Reach and Rise for Excellence” (RARE) for Middle School Students.  Congratulations to CCNA and its student.    FAME is proud to be an annual supporter.

Citizenship Award_Rema Sankoh 7th Grade Presenters Participation Award_Joshua Brooks and Mom Angela Tlustenieo

— Articles from The Score Inaugural Edition! —