$40K donation from Nick Nurse supports AMPD high school initiative

Students gathered around one presenter and microphone against foggy background for open mic

Fifty high school students will have the rare opportunity of learning from Juno-winning artists at York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD), thanks to a $40,000 donation from the Nick Nurse Foundation (NNF), July 24 to 28.  

Nick Nurse
Nick Nurse

“I’ve always been a passionate advocate for equitable access in both sports and the arts. Success, regardless of discipline, should be a testament of merit, discipline and ingenuity – not a question of access or resources,” says Nick Nurse, co-founder of NNF and head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. “I know with the support of a globally recognized, academically and socially responsible school like AMPD, this donation can help eliminate barriers, level the playing field and empower the next generation of creative leaders in a city that has a special place in my heart.”

The donation will support bursaries for equity-seeking students, classes, workshops and guest artist visits to the newly renamed the Nick Nurse Foundation Summer Jazz & Groove Lab. A portion of the donation will fund participation bursaries for high school students who are Black, Indigenous and/or people of colour as well as young women.

Participants will work closely with Juno-winning and internationally recognized jazz and gospel artists including AMPD faculty members Professor Sundar Viswanathan, Professor Karen Burke and Lorne Lofsky during the week-long intensive, culminating in a public performance.

“We are extremely grateful for the donation and Nurse’s commitment to improving the lives and futures of Toronto’s young people through the arts,” says AMPD Dean Sarah Bay-Cheng. “With the Nick Nurse Foundation Summer Jazz & Groove Lab, we can provide youth with the necessary resources to positively contribute to society through music and jazz. We are tremendously excited by the opportunities this gift will open for BIPOC students and young women in the local community.”

Mike Cadó
Noam Lemish
Noam Lemish

“The Nick Nurse Foundation’s generous donation will fuel creative opportunities for young musicians to deepen their interest in contemporary styles of music,” say Lab founders and coordinators Professor Mike Cadó and Professor Noam Lemish. “The Lab will provide a vibrant environment for young people to grow and discover. Hopefully, it will inspire the next generation to create in the pursuit of an inclusive and innovative future.”

The Lab began as an online opportunity for high school students in the Summer of 2021 as the vision of music professors Cadó and Lemish. Now, the Lab is a cornerstone at the University that pioneered the inclusion of jazz and gospel in its music degree program.

Click here for more information on the Nick Nurse Foundation Summer Jazz & Groove Lab.

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