Music Builds

During the 2022 Music Builds campaign, All Classical Portland is shining a spotlight on the ways that music and art build community, connections, confidence, and joy. Together with our generous corporate partners at Olson & Jones Construction, we have selected 10 regional organizations to recognize, amplify, and celebrate for their community-minded work. Read on to learn more about Music Builds, and tune in to All Classical Portland to hear how your radio station builds community through music every day over the airwaves.

Your tax-deductible donation to All Classical Portland supports the music that builds community, and the entire cultural ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest. Thank you for participating in Music Builds.

Music Builds 2022: Featured Organizations

Ethos Music Center

Since 1998, Ethos Music Center has provided music lessons and outreach programs for young people regardless of socioeconomic status, geographic location, abilities, or identity. Their robust team of local music instructors, volunteers, and AmeriCorps members work with communities to remove barriers to music education for Oregon’s youth. In addition to offering sliding-scale music lessons at its headquarters, Ethos builds connections by providing free, culturally-responsive programs in historically excluded communities. 

Ethos’ Music Corps program has established after-school music education at over 150 schools and community centers around Portland. In partnership with AmeriCorps, the Rural Outreach Program brings music facilitators to rural schools across Oregon that would otherwise not have access to sequential music education. Pass the Mic offers culturally conscious music education for immigrant youth in Portland, ages 14 and up, providing free instruments for students to keep permanently.

Learn More at the Ethos Music Center website.


CymaSpace is making the arts more accessible and inclusive for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community through its innovative cymatic technology. This technology translates sound waves into visual and tactile experiences that are presented in live performances and art installations.

CymaSpace also advocates for the DHH community by partnering with other organizations to provide more inclusive arts and culture experiences. They believe creating a more multi-sensory experience benefits all communities and enhances everyone’s enjoyment. For example, CymaSpace collaborated with Piano. Push. Play. and Lucid Design to produce an LED piano where the frequencies and amplitudes of the piano keys translate into light, color, and movement. The piano was displayed in the main lobby of OMSI from September 2015 to January 2016 for visitors to freely enjoy.

Learn more at the CymaSpace website.

On September 17, 2022, All Classical Portland featured CymaSpace on Where We Live, a monthly program that spotlights local organizations providing programs that explore the intersection of art and social issues. Listen on demand in our Audio Archive until October 1, 2022.

Read a transcript of the CymaSpace Where We Live interview.

Patricia Reser Center for the Arts

The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, which opened in March 2022 after nearly four years of community planning, collaboration, and investment, provides artistic, cultural, and entertainment experiences to the city of Beaverton and the entire Portland metro area. The Reser has positioned itself as the cultural heart of the Beaverton community and commits to presenting quality experiences that reflect the diverse interests and passions of the city’s inhabitants. This vibrant hub for the Arts is breaking down barriers and bringing residents of the West Side together to share varied and imaginative experiences.

The Reser is home to a stunning 550-seat auditorium, art galleries, rehearsal and event space, and an outdoor plaza. To make its events more accessible, The Reser offers ticket discount programs for students, first responders and military members, seniors, and Oregon Trail cardholders.

Learn More at the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts website.

In April 2020, the Reser’s Executive Director, Chris Ayzoukian, was featured on State of the Arts. A follow-up interview with Suzanne Nance aired in August 2020. Revisit their conversation below.

Architectural Heritage Center

Portland’s Architectural Heritage Center is preserving our region’s unique historic buildings and the identity of its diverse communities. The organization believes in the power of the built environment to connect people to a place, to the past, and to the future, while promoting sustainability by rehabilitating and re-using period structures. The Architectural Heritage Center is a vital educational hub, organizing public programs, walking tours, and gallery exhibitions on a wide variety of topics related to Portland’s built environment.    

The founders of the historic preservation organization began their work in the 1950s by collecting artifacts like glass windows, building hardware, light fixtures, and numerous other landmark building elements. As a result, the organization now holds one of the largest collections of architectural artifacts in the Western United States.

Learn More at the Architectural Heritage Center website.

Special thanks to our friends at the Architectural Heritage Center for opening the doors to their historic building to host All Classical Portland’s Music Build campaign video!

The Piano Santa Foundation

The Piano Santa Foundation began in 1992 with a call to action following drastic cuts made to music programs in local schools. Its initial act of service was the delivery of a single piano to a deserving student during the holiday season, which led to the name, “Piano Santa.” For nearly 30 years, the foundation has provided piano scholarships for students across all income levels in the Portland metro area. Recipients of these scholarships receive pianos in their homes, as well as educational materials, performance opportunities, access to a free music library, and annual piano tuning and maintenance.

In addition to the student scholarship program, the Piano Santa Foundation facilitates a piano placement program that delivers pianos to various Portland-area community organizations including Rose Community Development and the West Women’s and Children’s Shelter.

Learn more at the Piano Santa Foundation website.

In April 2019, All Classical Portland featured the Piano Santa Foundation on Where We Live, a monthly radio program that shines a spotlight on a variety of organizations in our community that are providing programs in art, theater, or music that explore the intersection of art and social issues.

BRAVO Youth Orchestras

Since 2014, BRAVO has provided a free after-school program offering comprehensive music instruction for underserved youth. The organization currently serves five public schools in North Portland where music programs would otherwise be unavailable. The students not only learn technical skills and musicianship but also gain exposure to a wide variety of musical works and cultivate artistic expression and creativity. BRAVO provides a safe space for facilitating growth and building community. Currently, at least 150 students are involved in BRAVO’s after-school program.

BRAVO is the first El Sistema-affiliated program in Oregon. Established in Venezuela in 1975, El Sistema is a national system of youth orchestras that has grown into a worldwide movement for social change through music education. Today, more than 50 countries offer El Sistema-inspired programs, including nearly 100 programs in the U.S.

Learn More at the BRAVO website.

In March 2022, All Classical Portland featured BRAVO Youth Orchestras in Where We Live, a monthly program that spotlights local organizations providing programs that explore the intersection of art and social issues. The episode is hosted by Adam Eccleston, BRAVO’s Director of Orchestras and one of All Classical Portland’s on air hosts:

Oregon Contemporary

Oregon Contemporary (formerly known as Disjecta) has been a welcomed presence in North Portland’s Kenton neighborhood since 2005, sharing contemporary art programs with the city’s community and beyond. They use their space to promote voices and perspectives that have been historically underrepresented, augmenting the role of these communities in the contemporary arts dialogue.

In addition to its robust art programs and exhibitions, Oregon Contemporary builds community by partnering with other arts and culture organizations to provide low-cost spaces for exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances, and events. Oregon Contemporary is also home to Portland Biennial, a survey of artists defining and advancing Oregon’s contemporary art landscape. Oregon Contemporary launched a Curator in Residence program in 2011, the first of its kind in the region, to further cultivate Oregon’s arts community. For its 2022-2023 season, Oregon Contemporary has selected collaborative duo home school (manuel arturo abreu and Victoria Anne Reis) as its next Curator in Residence.

Learn More at the Oregon Contemporary website.


Since its founding in 2002, p:ear has been on a mission to enrich the lives of homeless youth beyond their basic needs. An acronym for “projects through education, art, and recreation,” p:ear provides a safe, nurturing environment for personal growth and creative expression through arts, education, and mentorship programs. p:ear serves an average of 65 young people every day, ranging from 15 to 24 years old. In galleries, classrooms, outdoor spaces, and more, participants are encouraged to get creative, relax, and play–opportunities that are rarely accessible for most people experiencing homelessness. While offering many drop-in classes and resources, p:ear first greets each visitor with a fresh, nutritious meal because, as co-founder Joy Cartier notes, “you can’t do anything if you’re hungry.”

p:ear’s programs cultivate community among Portland’s most vulnerable residents in a way that fosters skill-building, hope, and confidence. The organization separates the person from the circumstance and guides young people toward a healthier, thriving adulthood.

Learn more at the p:ear website.

In April 2019, All Classical Portland featured p:ear in Where We Live, a monthly radio program that shines a spotlight on a variety of organizations in our community that are providing programs in art, theater, or music that explore the intersection of art and social issues.

Hillsboro School District Mariachi Una Voz

The Hillsboro School District’s mariachi band, Mariachi Una Voz, provides an opportunity for the city’s students to explore Mexican culture through music and the Spanish language. The band is free to join and open to all Hillsboro School District middle school and high school students. Since the band’s formation in 2010, student musicians from nine Hillsboro schools have come together twice a week to rehearse and celebrate the rich cultural heritage present in the region. Mariachi Una Voz promotes cultural understanding, builds community, and provides accessible music education.

In 2019, Mariachi Una Voz received the Oregon Symphony’s Schnitzer Wonder Award. The band frequently performs at festivals, schools, libraries, sporting events, and more around the Portland metro area.

Learn More on the Mariachi Una Voz Facebook page.

On September 24th, All Classical Portland featured Mariachi Una Voz on Where We Live, a monthly program that spotlights local organizations providing programs that explore the intersection of art and social issues. Listen on demand in our Audio Archive until October 8, 2022.

Piano Push Play

Piano. Push. Play. is on a mission to make live music more accessible one piano at a time, and to make the instrument available to anyone who wants to play. The organization first surveys pianos donated by private parties, piano stores, and moving companies and then works with local stores to restore pianos so that they’re performance ready. During the summer, the pianos are placed on sidewalks around Portland so anyone can enjoy them. During the colder months, the pianos are loaned to schools and community centers where they can be played and enjoyed year-round.

Highlighting Portland’s thriving visual arts scene as well as its musical one, Piano. Push. Play. collaborates with local artists to paint the instruments, making each one uniquely recognizable, memorable, and enjoyable to play. By placing pianos in public spaces, Piano. Push. Play. is improving the reachability of music in Portland’s communities and redefining the perception of the concert space. As passers-by take turns sitting at publicly accessible pianos, they build connections to music, and to each other, through this shared experience.

Learn more at the Piano Push Play website.


Since 2017, All Classical Portland has partnered with Olson & Jones Construction annually to celebrate the power of music, and our shared values of honesty, caring, and community. Together, we have provided over 53,000 meals to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity (Music Feeds, 2017-2018), uplifted 20+ organizations using music as a tool for healing (Music Heals, 2019), and provided a lifeline for safe connection, comfort, and restoration during a time of great isolation (Music Connects & Builds, 2020-2021). In the 2022 Music Builds campaign, we expand on our past achievements, and invite you to join us in celebrating the organizations that make this a wonderful place to live, and enjoy the arts

All Classical Portland supporters have shared these thoughts on how music builds community and connection:

We invite you to share your own story of the how music builds community, confidence, connection, and joy in your life when you make a donation, or through our contact form.

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