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The Lewis Prize for Music Will Give Three $500,000 Accelerator Awards to Leaders Across the Country Who Are Creating Positive Change Through Youth Music Programs

(NEW YORK, NY) (December 2, 2020) – ​The Lewis Prize for Music – a philanthropic music arts organization advancing systems change through creative youth development – has selected Atlanta’s own Dantes Rameau of ​Atlanta Music Project (AMP) ​as a finalist for the second annual Accelerator Awards.

Founded in 2018 by philanthropist ​Daniel R. Lewis​, The Lewis Prize for Music believes young people with access to high-quality music learning, performance and creation opportunities will mature into thriving individuals. Inequitable systems often fail to prioritize music learning in young people’s lives. As a result, too many young people are not supported to express themselves creatively. This stifles young people’s potential to become powerful citizens, who through musical pursuits learn to contribute positively to their communities. By supporting music leaders across the country to continue their great work, The Lewis Prize for Music hopes to inspire other partners to work together to ensure every young person has the opportunity to access transformative music learning, performance and creation. The Lewis Prize for Music has identified Dantes Rameau of Atlanta Music Project as one of those leaders.

Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project provides intensive, tuition-free music education for underserved youth right in their neighborhood. AMP believes the pursuit of musical excellence leads to the development of confidence, creativity and ambition, thus sparking positive social change in the individuals and the communities they serve.

In support of their belief that all children are musical, AMP does not hold entrance auditions or require students to have any musical experience. The only thing required for a student to be in AMP is a commitment to attending all classes. The Atlanta Music Project provides instruments, classes, world-class teaching artists, and numerous performance opportunities for all of its students. AMP classes include orchestra, choir, musicianship, ear training, music theory, African drum and dance, and group lessons in violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, voice, piano and guitar.

This is made possible by grant funds, donations, and considerable community support from organizations such as Clayton State University, City of Atlanta Department of Parks & Recreation, Fulton County, Atlanta Public Schools, and other prestigious local institutions.

“We are honored to be recognized as a finalist for The Lewis Prize for Music, alongside seven formidable organizations,” says Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Dantes Rameau. “I am grateful to the entire Atlanta Music Project organization for their hard work and commitment, as our team continues to persevere through these challenging times to support our community. And to our young musicians, who continue to create, perform and discover their voice through music, we commend you for your courage and stand behind you in admiration.”

Awardees for The Lewis Prize for Music, which is split into three categories and includes both long-term and single-year support, will be formally announced on ​Tuesday, January 12th, 2021​.

The Lewis Prize for Music full finalists lists includes:

  1. Academy of Music Production Education and Development ​(AMPED) – Louisville, KY.
  2. Atlanta Music Project​ – Atlanta, Georgia
  3. Beyond the Bars​ – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  4. Hyde Square Task Force​ – Boston, Massachusetts
  5. Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit​ – Detroit, Michigan
  6. We Are Culture Creators​ – Detroit, Michigan
  7. Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective​ – St. Louis, Missouri
  8. Women’s Audio Mission​ – San Francisco, California

“The eight 2021 Accelerator Award Finalists show us all that giving youth opportunities to express themselves through music improves their own cognitive and emotional development and their community’s well being,” says founder Daniel R. Lewis. “The pandemic has magnified the already apparent need for children in underserved and under-supported areas; youth with the same potential as those in the rest of the United States. These Finalists, and many other CYD organizations, nimbly adapted as an obligation to both COVID-19 and the racial justice movement. They committed to growing their relationships with student musicians, fostering a positive sense of worth and leadership, and adapted their offerings to remote learning – often helping provide devices and connectivity where needed, securing food for students and their families, and keeping their teaching artists employed.

About The Lewis Prize for Music

The Lewis Prize for Music believes that music in the lives of young people is a catalytic force to drive positive change in our society. It partners with leaders in diverse and vibrant communities who invest in young people by providing access to safe, inclusive spaces where they can build powerful relationships through music.

The organization is the brainchild of philanthropist Daniel R. Lewis, who has spent the last 19 years focusing on philanthropic efforts in the social and musical arts field, including founding the Miami Music Access Fellowship, serving as the founding chairman of The Cleveland Orchestra Miami Residency/Miami Music Association, chairman of the Spring For Music Festival and chairman of The Management Center. Learn more at

About the Atlanta Music Project

Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project is a non-profit organization providing more than 5,000 hours annually of intensive, tuition-free music education for underserved youth right in their neighborhood.  Now serving 350 students through eight programs, AMP provides all its students with an instrument, a teaching artist, and classes in band, orchestra, choir, as well as compositions.  In addition to four after-school learning sites, AMP’s program includes the AMP Academy, providing advanced musical training to AMP’s most talented and dedicated students; the AMP Summer Series, a music festival and school; and the AMP Youth Choirs & Orchestras.
AMP music ensembles perform more than 50 concerts annually, performing in venues all across Atlanta, from community centers to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. AMP music ensembles have performed alongside international stars such as the Harlem Quartet, electric violinist Lindsey Stirling, pianist Terrence Wilson, soprano Alison Buchanan, and R&B singer Monica. AMP musicians can be seen performing with rapper T.I. on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series. AMP’s young musicians have successfully auditioned for Georgia All-State ensembles, and have concertized as far away as Los Angeles, Aspen, and Mexico City.
AMP is based in the Capitol View neighborhood at the Atlanta Music Project Center for Performance & Education. AMP is a 2018 winner of Emory University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award. In 2016 and 2017 the White House named AMP one of the top 50 after-school arts programs in the nation. Learn more at