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De Blasio Administration Honors Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Third Annual Music Industry Mentorship Event for NYC Youth

January 20, 2020

NYC Service recruits creative professionals to spend the day mentoring NYC high school students interested in music and performing arts careers.

NEW YORK—In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy, the de Blasio administration partnered with the GRAMMY Museum® and the Recording Academy™ New York Chapter to pair NYC high school youth interested in music and performing arts careers with creative professionals for a day of mentorship.

Mentors – including GRAMMY® - nominated and award-winning artists – spend the day sharing their experience, advice, and stories with young people from across the city with interests in different aspects industry, including vocals, composing, choreography, and more.

“In the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we must give our young people the tools they need to succeed and to build a nation that honors his legacy,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This mentorship program provides opportunity for the next generation and will help us created a stronger, fairer city.”

“The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service reminds us of our responsibility to care for one another, and provides an opportunity to strengthen our city as we work together,” said First Lady of NYC Chirlane McCray. “Mentoring is a special kind of collaboration that gives both adults and youth the power and ability to make the kind of change Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned.”

“On this Day of Service we not only reflect on what it means to come together as a community, we act on building community,” said NYC Chief Service Officer Anusha Venkataraman. “Mentoring youth is a way every New Yorker can increase opportunity, provide access, and realize an equitable city. NYC Service is grateful to the GRAMMY Museum® and the Recording Academy™ New York Chapter for investing time in the leadership of our young people and to participating youth for their dedication to the arts, which continue to unify and strengthen our communities.”

“On this Day of Service, I’m thankful to NYC Service and those that are giving back, taking an active role in our communities and making meaningful connections with New York City students," said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. "This is the opportunity of a lifetime for young people that are passionate about music, and I have no doubt it will have an indelible impact on their future.”

“Mentorship is a powerful form of volunteerism particularly in the creative industries,” said Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo. “We are delighted to see so many music and performing arts professionals honoring Dr. King’s legacy by participating in today’s industry networking event for high school students, presented in partnership with NYC Service, the GRAMMY Museum® and the Recording Academy™ New York Chapter. It is a shining example of the many ways we are working to make the creative economy accessible to all New Yorkers.”

“With education at the forefront of all we do at the GRAMMY Museum, we’re excited to continue our partnership with Mayor de Blasio and our colleagues in the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy to bring mentorship opportunities to young people,” said Michael Sticka, President of the GRAMMY Museum®.

“The Recording Academy™ New York Chapter is honored to participate once again in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service,” said Nick Cucci, Executive Director of the Recording Academy New York Chapter. “The Recording Academy is committed to mentoring the next generation of music creators and industry executives, and we’re excited to work alongside NYC Service to help inspire and encourage our youth to make music a part of their future.”  

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sought to inspire our youth to achieve a better society, so there is no better way to honor his life and legacy than offer valuable mentorship to the youth of our City,” said Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee. “This year’s youth participants in the music industry mentorship program, including students from Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School in Far Rockaway, Queens, will strongly benefit from the experience and wisdom of their mentors, who deserve thanks for volunteering to serve the community in this way. This program should inspire all of us to be of service to others, and one way to do that is through the ‘Queens Day of Service’ that the Queens Borough President’s Office will be sponsoring on several days during the week of February 10.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a nationally recognized Day of Service encouraging people across the country to build and improve their communities. This is NYC Service’s third year partnering with the GRAMMY Museum® and the Recording Academy™ New York Chapter in recruiting employees as volunteer mentors to foster the creativity and passion of high school youth. 

NYC Service has organized Days of Service for over ten years, and since 2015 has focused service strategies on providing high school youth with access to mentorship and professional development. In addition to the spirit of service encouraged on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, NYC Service celebrates National Mentoring Month through the month of January, encouraging New Yorkers to mentor a young person in their community by sharing volunteer opportunities across the city. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have positive effects on a young person in a variety of ways – including personal, academic, and professional – and generally encourages personal growth with the support of an adult who cares.

Participating High Schools

  • All City Leadership Secondary School (Brooklyn)
  • Bronx Lab School (Bronx)
  • Fordham High School for the Arts (Bronx)
  • The Lang School (Manhattan)
  • Talent Unlimited High School (Manhattan)
  • Frederick Douglass Academy VI (Queens)
  • The Scholars’ Academy (Queens)

About NYC Service
NYC Service is a division of the Mayor’s Office that builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs. We unite New Yorkers in service to advance lifelong civic engagement for a more equitable and inclusive city. To learn more about NYC Service and connect to volunteer opportunities (including mentorship), visit

About the GRAMMY Museum®
The GRAMMY Museum® is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the history and significance of music through exhibits, education, grants, preservation initiatives, and public programming. Paying tribute to our collective musical heritage, the Museum explores and celebrates all aspects of the art form — from the technology of the recording process to the legends who've made lasting marks on our cultural identity.

For more information, visit, "like" the GRAMMY Museum® on Facebook, and follow @GRAMMYMuseum on Twitter and Instagram.

About the Recording Academy™
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education, and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers, and ensuring that music remains an indelible part of our culture.

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