Lead Guitar Receives NEA Art Works Grant

Arizona-based nonprofit Lead Guitar announced today that it was awarded a coveted National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant to fund its 2016-2017 classical guitar programs. The grant is specifically earmarked to support Lead Guitar’s expansion in the greater Phoenix area, where Lead Guitar will partner with seven schools.  Funding from the NEA will ensure the quality and sustainability of Lead Guitar’s Phoenix programs, and the Art Works grant is a terrific nod of approval to Lead Guitar’s work.


About Lead Guitar
Lead Guitar was incorporated as a nonprofit in 2006, but concert guitarist Brad Richter began developing the Lead Guitar curriculum in 1999 for Page High School in Page, AZ. Lead Guitar grew steadily from 1999 until 2013 when it became an outreach program of the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts. In the 2016-2017 school year, over 50 schools will operate Lead Guitar programs in Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Illinois.  Lead Guitar’s mission is to provide rigorous instrumental music education to the young people who need it most. Lead Guitar establishes and supports classical guitar programs in public schools with reduced access to the arts, focusing on Title I schools and schools with a high percentage of students eligible for federal free and reduced lunch.

About NEA
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.

To learn more about Lead Guitar, please contact
Brad Richter, Executive Director
888 N. Euclid Ave. Room 203
Tucson, AZ 85721

Lovell Foundation Awards $748,000 to Nine Nonprofits Serving Southern Arizona

The Tucson-based David and Lura Lovell Foundation recently approved $748,000 in grants for nine Tucson nonprofit organizations to support programs in the areas of mental health, integrative medicine and arts for youth.

The largest grant this year is for $300,000 over two years to the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine to develop the Integrative Health Self Care program – an online interactive health resource the public can use to assess motivation for lifestyle change and to increase patient health and wellness, especially for underserved populations nationwide. A research project will track the effectiveness of the program.

The second largest grant is $200,000 for the University of Arizona College of Nursing to establish the Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship program. The goal is to expand nursing education to encompass more integrative nursing knowledge and skills that can help improve the outcomes of patients with acute and chronic healthcare issues. This is the second portion of a three-year grant from the Lovell Foundation.

The third substantial grant is to Arizona Public Media to produce a one-hour documentary on the mental health of teens and youth. In addition to this $120,000 grant, the Lovell Foundation last year helped fund Passing On, a documentary that explores end-of-life care and coping with death and grief. This premiered on Feb. 22. The foundation also provides multi-year funds for a mental health producer/reporter.

Additional Lovell Foundation grants are:

  • $50,000 to St. Elizabeth’s Health Center to expand the behavioral health program with additional staffing by a licensed certified social worker, allowing more patients to be served as well as providing better supervision for interns.
  • $25,000 to help Interfaith Community Services present the 2016 conference on Faith Communities & Well Being – Mind Body and Spirit. Dr. Esther Sternberg will be one of the keynote speakers. She is internationally recognized for her work in the science of mind-body interaction. The Lovell Foundation previously supported ICS conferences on mental health in 2012 and 2014.
  • $20,000 for UA Presents to expand the Lead Guitar program into three additional schools for a total of five. Students learn to read music, play the guitar and perform as an ensemble. These skills help them develop self-discipline, self-esteem and the ability to work as a team.
  • $15,000 for continuing support of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Music in the Schools/Young People’s Concerts. This is the orchestra’s largest music education program, reaching more than 13,000 students from 90 schools.
  • $10,000 to the Tucson Museum of Art for three existing youth programs – Picture This!, The Creative Space and Activity Guides – plus a new drop-in program called School Break Sketch-In.
  • $8,000 for Invisible Theatre’s Project Pastime, providing twice-weekly instruction in music, drama and dance for eight months and culminating in an original musical called “The Me Inside of Me” which the students create and perform.

The Lovell Foundation was established in 1994 by David and Lura Lovell. Since then the foundation has distributed nearly $14 million to support more than 60 nonprofit organizations nationwide. Today the foundation is led by an executive director, a board of trustees and a board of advisors. More information is at lovellfoundation.org or by calling (520) 325-3656.

Local Health Experts Explore Role of Faith Communities in Well-Being at Day-Long Conference

What are the connections between mind, body, spirit and community in achieving good health? Why is resilience the cornerstone for well-being? How can we grow in mind, body and spirit after trauma? These are just a few of the topics that will be addressed as Interfaith Community Services (ICS) presents “Faith Communities and Well-Being: Mind, Body, Spirit and Community,” a day-long conference from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m., Friday, April 8 at Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene, 500 W. Calle Concordia, Oro Valley, AZ 85704.

The conference, made possible by The David and Lura Lovell Foundation with support from Cenpatico Integrated Care and Community Partners, Inc., will bring together a wide range of local and regional health and faith experts who will guide attendees to better understand personal health and the benefits of balancing physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of well-being.

Registration includes lunch, snacks and materials and is $45.00 per person or $35.00 each for teams of two or more. Register at www.icstucson.org or by calling 520-297-6049 ext. 233. Walk-ins are accepted as space permits at $50.00 per person.

“What we hope to do with this conference is to reinforce that we are complex human beings,” says Veda Kowalski, ICS Health and Senior Services Director and event organizer. “In that complexity, it’s helpful to realize that our health is made up of many pieces of a puzzle that makes each of us unique, and it is important to be aware of how all of these pieces fit together for our best health.”

The conference features two keynote speakers, Dr. Esther Sternberg and Dr. Anne Borik, who will offer information and inspiration weaving both scientific and alternative perspectives. Dr. Sternberg, internationally recognized for her studies on the effects of the brain’s stress response on health and the science of the mind-body interaction, will address healing spaces and the science behind how place and space around us can trigger emotions that help us heal. She is professor of medicine and research director for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, founding director of the UA Institute on Place and Wellbeing and author of two books, The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions and Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Wellbeing.

Dr. Borik will present on the art of moving prayer. She has combined her medical expertise as an Internal Medicine physician with years of fitness experience as an exercise physiologist to develop an innovative program known as Sign Chi Do, which incorporates sign gesture with movement, music and breath. Originally designed for stroke recovery, the technique works to strengthen the brain and body connection and has been used by faith communities and medical groups around the world. In addition, Borik is a volunteer Eucharistic Minister at her church, Medical Director and Founder of the Gilbert Hospital Wellness Program and author of Prayer Prescribed: A Path to Restoring and Preserving Your Well-Being.”

As a special highlight of the day, Lovell Foundation board member and former ICS CEO Bonnie Kampa will also honor volunteers serving in the new ICS Care Partners Program, a pilot project with Banner University Medical Center. The project provides non-medical assistance to seriously ill patients transitioning from hospital to home, helping them heal while avoiding unnecessary emergency room re-admissions. The award will spotlight the health impact of volunteering for both the giver and the receiver.

Rounding out the program, local and regional professionals representing diverse backgrounds in healthcare, counseling, community and public health and faith will lead breakout sessions on a range of topics including resilience, managing stress, keys to happiness, suicide awareness, end-of-life care issues, recovering from trauma, achieving wholeness and the role faith communities play in being places of both spiritual and physical healing. Visit www.icstucson.org to download a conference brochure for complete details on workshops and speakers.


Interfaith Community Services (ICS) was selected by The Lovell Foundation to organize the conference based on its history in bringing diverse faith communities and community groups together, as well as its leadership role as an advocate and service provider for all ages with varying social, economic and health needs. ICS provides an umbrella of integrated services that help seniors, disabled adults and individuals and families in financial crisis achieve stable, healthy and independent lives. Programs include health education and awareness, such as Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health Safe Space and end-of-life care workshops; caregiving and senior services including transportation, friendly phoning and visiting, mobile meals and health advocacy; emergency assistance including help with rent and utilities, The ICS Food Bank, and aid for work-related needs; and self-sufficiency programs encompassing case management, job search assistance and financial literacy. ICS offers compassionate support by connecting 750 volunteers and 89 faith community partners with our community’s most vulnerable residents. From nutritious food to health evaluations to a ride to the doctor’s office, ICS provides help and hope to more than 37,000 people a year.