As of 12/31/15

Chris McCarthy VH1 & LOGO

Ernie Boch, Jr. Boch Enterprises

Larry Cohen Seven Bridge Advisors

Paul Cothran VH1 Save The Music Foundation

Mireya D'Angelo Link Strategies; SoulCycle

Perez Hilton

Julie Macklowe vbeauté

Wynton Marsalis Jazz at Lincoln Center

David Nathan Big Machine Label Group

Jamie Perry JetBlue Airways

Scott H. Rauch SHR Jewelry Group

Morris L. Reid Mercury

Gordon Singer Elliott Advisors

Matt Spielman Return Path, Inc.

John Sykes iHeart Media Inc.

Lisa Versacio LVNY LLC


Caralene Robinson EVP Marketing & Creative

Julie Ruiz VP Advertising & Branding   

Beth Wawerna Senior Editorial Director

June Bae Senior Designer

Samantha Hunter Senior Copy Editor

 Sabrina Boveli Copy Editor

Piotr Sikora Senior Photo Director

Bart Stadnicki Photo Manager

Rebecca Ladder Photo Manager

Allison Sierra Sr Director, Project Mgt & Production



The VH1 Save The Music prides itself on being lean but impactful. Our 7 person, close knit staff promotes the Foundation's success and longevity through great team work and exceptional individual effort. Our sustainability centers on our willingness to pitch in wherever needed in a consolidated effort to move the organization’s mission forward!

Paul Cothran Executive Director

Jennifer Dunn Director of Special Events and Corporate Sponsorship

Chiho Feindler Director of Grantees and Compliance

Jaclyn Rudderow Program Director

Trell Thomas Communication and Talent Relations

Samantha Manus Special Events Coordinator

Ariel Usatin Director of Development, Foundations & Partnerships

A few Board Members at the VH1 Save The Music Hamptons LIVE event. 

A few Board Members at the VH1 Save The Music Hamptons LIVE event. 

STEAM Panel and VH1 Save The Music Staff at The Paley Center for STEAM Assembly.

STEAM Panel and VH1 Save The Music Staff at The Paley Center for STEAM Assembly.

Trell Thomas at school giving an instrument delivery with A Great Big World and Sponsor Alex + Ani. 

Trell Thomas at school giving an instrument delivery with A Great Big World and Sponsor Alex + Ani. 


Trell Thomas Co-editor

Samantha Manus Co-editor/Squarespace

Dear Supporters and New Friends:

THANK YOU!  Thank you for all of your generous contributions; your letters, your donations, your emails, phone calls, tweets, posts and shares! Most importantly, thank you for your interest, commitment and support of VH1 Save The Music Foundation’s ongoing mission to keep music education alive in schools! So whether you personally sent a donation, joined us for an event or simply followed us on social media you are the important part of the accomplishments that unfold on these next few pages. 

Expectations for sharing information in today’s society are high, with transparency having become philanthropy’s most used buzzword. Efforts for a non-profit to be seen as being transparent run the gamut; from openness about mission and programs, to financial accountability delving into the impact of every contribution and the overall costs of running that organization. 

We hope that through this small glimpse of the Foundation in action, you are able to get an open and transparent snapshot of the impact of our work and choose to invest further in our mission as we take steps toward improving the academic opportunities of all students across the country by providing music education programs to those in need.

2015 was another year of advancement, made possible through the commitment of YOU, our donors, partners and sponsors! And with that said, it is my pleasure to share with you VH1 Save The Music’s 2015 Annual Report. The achievements outlined here were a result of the hard work and dedication of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation staff as well as the visionary leadership of our Board of Directors.  Together we will continue to transform educational opportunities for underserved communities and ensure America’s young, bright minds have access to the arts in school. Many thanks.




Paul Cothran

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Each state summary includes background (demographics and history within 2015 VH1 Save The Music districts), total VH1 Save The Music programs since inception (how many programs have been granted statewide since 1997), and VH1 Save The Music programs in 2015 (how many programs were granted this past year).*
*States that received single Keys + Kids grants not included

CLICK HERE for full breakdown



Every year is a big year with VH1 Save The Music partner Alex and Ani: 2015 was no different. In 2015, through proceeds raised via the Sweet Melody Charm Bangle and as presenting sponsor of the Keys + Kids program, Alex and Ani donated more than $280,000 to VH1 Save The Music Foundation. The Alex and Ani Charity By Design program provided the funding for the Foundation to make 5 Keys + Kids grants and 12 new instrumental music programs to schools across the country – this donation translates to 5 pianos, 208 stringed instruments, 12 secured teacher’s jobs and 22,680 minutes spent in music instruction through our programs. In September, singer-songwriter duo A Great Big World joined the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and Alex and Ani for an in-school celebration at P.S. 532 New Bridges School in Brooklyn, NY to commemorate the delivery of their “Keys + Kids” Piano Grant to the school’s music program. Thank you Alex and Ani.

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss


Mattel selected VH1 Save The Music as one of Barbie’s first-ever charity partners for their Rock ’n Royals concert at the Hollywood Palladium. The event was a hit. It featured host Zendaya, an unforgettable performance by Austin Mahone and thousands of happy kids participating in loads of fun.

The Foundation was joined by student volunteers from VH1 Save The Music partner district, Duarte Unified who set up shop in our Barbie themed Instrument Discovery Zone; sharing the gift of music with those in attendance. To date, the partnership has received 1.1 + Billion media impressions! This is just the beginning. Mattel is thrilled with the partnership and talks are already underway for 2016. We’re so excited to do more amazing things with Barbie!


For the second year in a row, VH1 Save The Music is proud to play host to the Avnet IBM Solutions Group and their top business partners through the Foundation’s pop-up dinner series, “Musically Mastered Menu” and our tent pole fundraiser, “Hamptons Live”. Through their generous sponsorship of our events, the Foundation has been able to make multiple unrestricted grants of music programs to schools across the country as well as make a Keys + Kids piano grant to Judson High School in Converse, Texas located not far from Avnet’s own offices. Judson High was one of 12 schools chosen to receive the prestigious grant in September and we celebrated the donation by hosting a school-wide assembly where students surprised attendees by sharing essays on what music means to them. Avnet is “a-ok” with us!




In a move to reach Just Dance’s millions of fans, VH1 Save The Music was featured in-game with a special Community Remix feature that allowed players to record and submit themselves dancing to a specific song for a chance to appear in the Just Dance 2016 game (launched in 2015). As a result and for every Community Remix entry submitted by players, Just Dance donated to the Foundation. All of the proceeds went toward a music grant to help P.S. 48X in New York, NY obtain brand new musical instruments for their music program, as well as a Just Dance 2016 entertainment package that included a brand new console, television and copies of the game. We’ve got more moves to show you in 2016!


In 2015 Toyota took us on an unforgettable festival run that ended in New Orleans at LaPlace Elementary where Toyota and electric pop artist, Santigold presented the school with a full instrumental music grant. This marked the first time in over a decade that this elementary school has been able to provide music education to its students.

The grant was achieved through an interactive festival activation and social media campaign implemented at major music festivals nationwide including Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Nocturnal Wonderland, Life is Beautiful and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. The activation engaged with festivalgoers through a life-sized Whispering Willow tree on the festival grounds, inviting participants to write on a tree leaf what music means to them then post to social media with the hashtag #ToyotaGiving. For each social media post, Toyota donated $1 to VH1 Save The Music’s mission to restore music programs in schools, raising an incredible $30,000. We’re ready to go more places with the Toyota team!

Donors who made gifts between January 1, 2015 - December 31st, 2015

CLICK HERE for full Donor Listing

VH1 Save The Music Foundation

Contributed Revenues & Expenses

In fiscal years ending 9/30/15 and 9/30/14, VH1 Save The Music Foundation's financial activity demonstrated the Foundation's commitment to restoring instrumental music programs in U.S. public schools.  Our many funding partners play a huge role in our financial successes, bringing music to more schools.