The Emily List Fund for Performing Arts Therapy has been established by Emily's family to honor her memory as an actor, a dancer, a reviewer and a lover of the performing arts. The Fund will be used to support theater, dance and music projects aimed at helping the sick and disadvantaged in the interest of making their lives better and brighter through the performing arts.

Grant Recipients


SciTech Band, “The Pride of Springfield,” received a grant to help Director Gary Bernice buy instruments for students who cannot afford them.

The band’s website notes that building a quality band in a city with the sixth highest child poverty rate in the United States was thought to have been impossible. But that’s exactly what student leaders along with Bernice and his colleagues have managed to do: “Nothing is impossible to overcome when students . . . take ownership in the classroom.”

The mission of the SciTech Band is to “create an environment through music that will challenge and motivate students to strive for excellence in all facets of their lives.” Students become not only musicians, but leaders. Since January of 2007, the band has grown from 20 students to more than 500. Students who join the band for more than one year are three times more likely to stay in school than those who don’t.

But students “are overwhelmingly unable to purchase or rent their own instruments.” Emily’s grant will ensure that a number of them have the instruments they need to participate in this exceptionally effective, high energy program, which includes concert and jazz bands as well as wind, stomp percussion and chamber ensembles.