GKYI Origins

Give Kids Your Instruments started as a young-budding 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Brooklyn, NY, with the goal of getting musical instruments to children who cannot afford them.

Instrument Drive

Give Kids Your Instruments started as a charity effort to give the kids in our neighborhood musical instruments for the holidays in December of 2010.

We set a goal to get 100 kids each an instrument. We also set about to do advocacy at local schools and community centers, including outdoor events such as Discover Bed Stuy and Free Bed Stuy at Von King Cultural Arts Center.

Instrument Drives and Clients include:

Bailey’s Cafe

Children of Promise
Brooklyn Free School

Von King Cultural Arts Center

The Slave Theater

Although the practice of refurbishing used musical instruments and donating them to underfunded music programs at schools has been copied and expanded by larger organizations, we were the first NY-based Instrument Drive for lower income communities and continue to lead the march toward reaching the most vulnerable of children.

Songwriting Workshops

In collaboration with several after school programs, we set up songwriting and ensemble workshops, recording sessions, and creative environments for children to learn and explore the power of music and art. We began in our local community of Bedford Stuyvesant

Kickstand and The Butterflies

The inspiration for Give Kids Your Instruments came from the kids on our block. One day we let them into our studio, and to our amazement, over the course of a couple weeks, the kids who all but one had never touched an instrument wrote a 9 track album of jaw dropping post punk.

Eat His Heart Out
Blues Jam

1. Give Kids Your Instruments

Music helps us deal with the dissonance in our lives. The simple act of physically making a sound with a musical instrument instantly creates a safe space to reflect upon and express oneself, and this in turn strengthens our sense of self-reliance and feeling of belonging.

The kids in our programs create communities of support for each other and this inspires and motivates them in the present and impacts the cultural life of society in the long run.

2. Create Partnerships 

By creating a partnerships between Give Kids Your Instruments and other established child welfare organizations, we are able to help implement and manage music and arts educational and therapy programs for children emerging from conflict.

Our long-term goal is to coordinate art and music programs across a trans-regional network of support locations for children in crisis. This will include child rescue and therapy centers, orphanages, and schools outside conflict zones.

3. Document Projects

Through multimedia and archival documentation, we commit to developing accountability with the affected local communities and transparency with the international community.

This will be the opening chapter to a documentary about the effect of arts education in areas emerging from conflict and the importance of art in cultural development.