Frankie Ballard has found a way to give back to his home state of Michigan by partnering with a few friends in the right places to help a local community program share the power of music.
Chevrolet contributed additional funds to help the Notes for Notes program at Sports Academics Youth (S.A.Y.) Detroit Play Center get completed in Motor City. The commitment from the CMA for the studio in the home of Motown will be ready to use when Detroit students return to school.
Ballard, a native of Battle Creek, Michigan, arrived in a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, rolled out the red carpet with the help of a few Nots for Notes youth and delivered new instruments — including donated Gibson and Reverend Guitars — to be used at the studio. They then guided the star of a tour of the facility before he performed “I’m Thinking Country” as the ‘opening song’ to officially launch the creative music space.
“I have a lot of history here,” said Ballard. “I grew up in Battle Creek and graduated from Western Michigan University before moving to Nashville to pursue my dream. It’s an honor to be back home and play a role in helping these kids in this community discover their dreams.”
“Through our partnership with Notes for Notes and Chevrolet, we’re extremely thrilled to bring Music City to Motor City in the form of this state-of-the-art recording studio for the community’s youth,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer.
“This marks our 11th studio location,” said Philip Gilley, Notes for Notes Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “With the rich musical heritage of Detroit, this studio will provide resources for a new generation of Motown hitmakers, producers, and other music industry professionals.”
“We know how important music education is to a child’s school experience. Statistics show increased graduation rates for students who are involved in the arts,” saidSteve Haener, Senior Manager, Chevrolet Marketing. “Chevrolet has a long history with music which made it natural to join CMA and the CMA Foundation in furthering this initiative with a national platform on last year's CMA Awards. This studio, which will advance music education, is a great contribution to our hometown.”
Notes for Notes funds the construction of recording studios in Boys and Girls Clubs and other facilities across the U.S. The CMA Foundation made an initial donation to the Nashville Notes for Notes chapter and committed additional funds to expand the program in several markets including Atlanta, Austin, Brooklyn, Detroit, and San Francisco in 2015.
The CMA Foundation receives the bulk of the funding to support these and other programs from CMA Music Festival. To date, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $11 million to the worthy cause of music education on behalf of the artists who perform at CMA Music Festival each summer for free.