All of us on the board of the Santa Cruz Advocates for the Arts/Mingus Project believe deeply in the power of music education to change and enrich lives and that our annual Charles Mingus Hometown Music Festival and our planned Mingus Memorial Park are very important to cultural tourism in Nogales.
I am writing to you to let you know about our activities as an all-volunteer organization. We accomplished a lot last year! We received a National Endowment for the Arts Challenge Grant for the festival and Port Devanning gave us the matching funds we needed. We also received a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts for 2014's festival.
We had a very successful day of music education in November where our guest artists worked with eight jazz bands from Santa Cruz County for an entire day. We then showcased the local school bands and the guest artists who came from all over the U.S. That day of education cost $3,000 and came solely from donations from people like you.
We also give out a scholarship every year. For 2013, saxophonist Gabe Paco from Rio Rico was the grateful recipient and he used the money to pay for his studies at the Tucson Jazz Institute.
We are planning to open the Mingus Memorial Park on the day of 2014's festival: mark your calendar for April 26th all day! The park will not only commemorate Charles Mingus but the legacy of the segregated Camp Little where he was born. This park will make Nogales a year-round destination for jazz fans and African-American history advocates worldwide. We are working with other local organizations to promote the park and recently applied for funding to help with those endeavors.
It's important that we have the "stamp of approval" of the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts!
Your donation of any amount is critically needed to help SCAA, a non-profit 501c(3) organization, continue to make Nogales a more vibrant community. We are about half-way to the $23,000 we need to raise to complete the Memorial Park. Again, any amount is welcome but we would certainly welcome more $1,000 donations for the Memorial Park which we've received from some of Mingus' relatives. Click here to donate online today, or send a tax-deductible check to Mingus Project, P.O. Box 2044, Nogales, AZ 85628.