This morning the Community Music Center (CMC) announced that it is one of the Bay Area Top 10 finalists in the Google Impact Challenge. Google invited local nonprofit institutions to share their most innovative ideas for improving Bay Area communities. The result was (in the words of the Web site for this effort) an “impressive roster from fields like education, housing, youth engagement and more.” The initial submissions were reviewed by a panel of community advisors, which selected the “Top 10.” The members of that panel were the Honorable Aida Alvarez, Secretary Norman Mineta, Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed, Reverend Cecil Williams, and Major League Baseball player Barry Zito.
This being a Google project, the next stage of selection will take place through online voting. All ten of the selected organizations will benefit. Every visitor to the Web site gets to vote for four of them. When all of the votes are counted, the top four will each receive a $500,000 grant. The remaining six will receive $250,000 grants.
CMC submitted a plan to continue their Community of Voices research study. This is a partnership with the University of California at San Francisco and the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services. The study examines whether singing in a community choir is a cost-effective way to promote health and well-being among culturally diverse older adults. Twelve choirs are participating in the study. There is currently a grant from the National Institute on Aging to support each choir for one year. Hundreds of older adults are currently participating in these choirs.
The full ballot is displayed on the Google Impact Challenge home page. This page also tracks the number of votes a visitor has made and prevents the visitor from voting more than once for the same organization. There is also a “details window” describing the CMC proposal and supplementing it with an informative video. Public voting began today and will continue through June 2. (The home page also includes a “countdown clock.”) The top four winning projects will be announced on June 3. Because this is the only music-related project on the ballot, readers are encouraged to vote.