EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso Symphony Orchestra (EPSO) Association’s Tocando Music Project and Executive Director Ruth Ellen Jacobson will be awarded $25,000 from the Manhattan Institute’s 2020 Civil Society Awards.
The Tocando Music Project empowers children growing up in challenging social and economic conditions in and near El Paso to transform their lives through music.
Inspired by Venezuela’s “El Sistema,” an international youth orchestra movement, Tocando’s immersive music education provides its students, many of them children of first- and second-generation immigrants, with a strong sense of community and an opportunity to gain the tools, confidence and motivation to succeed in life.
With the help of strong community and philanthropic support, Tocando has touched the lives of nearly 300 students, helping them build valuable life skills — such as teamwork, leadership and discipline — that pave the way for future academic and career achievements.
Winners were selected from nearly 200 nominations from 37 states and 107 cities around the country. Each organization will be honored with a $25,000 prize at the annual Civil Society Awards event, which will be held virtually on Oct. 29.
“This year’s outstanding group of awardees reminds us how civil society initiatives can address such vexing problems as providing long-term support for foster children, bringing cultural resources to disadvantaged rural areas, learning the best ways to support and care for family members living with dementia, helping children of immigrants build confidence and expand their horizons through classical music, and even amid a pandemic, assisting the homebound, elderly and immunocompromised,” said Howard Husock, director of the Manhattan Institute’s Tocqueville Project. “Our 2020 winners have done all this and more.”
As part of the institute’s effort to reinvigorate public understanding of America’s vibrant civil society, which plays an important role in strengthening our communities, the Civil Society Awards recognize nonprofit leaders who address social challenges and work toward a common purpose in their communities.