(Photo via TD Bank)

TD Bank: Making the Arts Accessible to All – A Gift with an Everlasting Impact

Originally published on newscenter.td.com by Shelley Sylva, U.S. Head of Social Impact.

The gift of music has always been important to me. As a child, my parents gave me violin lessons that my mother’s family was unable to afford for her, planting the seeds of a lifetime of appreciation for the arts. It’s something I can now give to my children, as well. Today we play together as a family at church and holiday gatherings, which make those special times even more beautiful.

The beauty of the arts is something that should be accessible to all, regardless of income. That’s an abiding belief I have, which is why I am so excited about TD’s announcement of its three-year Lead Sponsorship of “Open Call” at The Shed, a new arts center on Manhattan’s Far West Side, which was founded on the belief that art is for all audiences. This sponsorship will give the gift of music, visual art, dance, theater and other forms to those across New York City who traditionally can’t afford to attend or participate.

TD has a strong presence in New York City, one of the greatest artistic hubs on our planet – and we’re committed to growing with and enriching this community. New York is the home of Broadway, many of the world’s leading museums, a center of the music world and so many other arts. However, the costs to attend performances remain far out of the reach of so many in the five boroughs. Meanwhile, many budding talented artists struggle to find outlets to showcase their work and experience financial hardship as they search for paid opportunities to support their craft.

That’s why TD has made a major commitment of $1.5 million to sponsor The Shed’s “Open Call” program. Not only do TD and The Shed share a joint purpose aimed at enriching the lives of customers, colleagues, and communities, “Open Call” connects deeply to the goals of The Ready Commitment which focus on channeling our community contributions to the areas where we believe we can make the greatest impact to support change, nurture progress and contribute to making the world around us a better, more inclusive place.

As the Lead Sponsor of “Open Call” program, TD helps provide emerging artists based in New York City with a platform to leverage their talents. Our partnership will also help fund a program that provides priority ticket access to underserved audiences and underwrite commissioning programs for both early-career and established artists of all disciplines.

I’m so incredibly proud of this partnership, and what it means for the bank and for this city. Alongside The Shed, we hope to help improve countless lives by providing greater access to the arts and by giving new artists a chance to be seen, heard, and felt.  I believe this has the potential to change the world for so many, and I can’t wait to watch it come to life.

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