Mac Miller memorial at Blue Slide Park, Sept. 11, 2018. Image courtesy of Emmai Alaquiva.

On Friday, the Meyers McCormick family and The Pittsburgh Foundation announced the inaugural awards for The Mac Miller Fund, a grant program founded last year in honor of the late son, brother, friend and musician.

“We’re grateful to partner with and support people doing the work. It’s a way for us to celebrate and carry on Malcolm’s nature — providing opportunities for young people to realize their talents and potential while supporting community,” read a statement released by the family. “It’s critical to us to help provide a safety net for artists who are struggling with substance abuse.”

One award of $50,000 will go toward expanding the Suzuki-style, early childhood music education program at the East Liberty-based Hope Academy of Music and the Arts. The gift will allow the Academy to double its enrollment from 40 to 80 young players, add courses in flute and guitar, extend courses into the summer, hire more staff and produce more public recitals throughout the year.

“Mac Miller was among the brightest young talents to emerge from Pittsburgh,” said Pittsburgh Foundation President and CEO Maxwell King. “I can’t imagine him wishing for anything more to be done in his memory than this wonderful fund that will help develop young people who are drawn to music and protect them on their journeys. It is such a Pittsburgh thing to do.”

Another $50,000 will support the Los Angeles-based MusiCares, a charitable offshoot of the Recording Academy dedicated to providing professional and confidential counseling for musicians in times of crisis.

The Mac Miller Fund is managed by The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Meyers McCormick family and is dedicated to providing “programming, resources and opportunities to youth from underserved communities, helping them recognize their full potential through exploration in the arts and community building,” according to a media statement.

The Mac Miller Fund now has raised nearly $1 million via private donations and proceeds from the “Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life” concert last October. Click here to donate.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.