Letter from our Executive & Development Directors

Feed the Bear 2016-2017 Fundraising Campaign

Your generous support keeps music education alive for youth throughout the Bay Area.



Dear Music Lover,

As we enter this 2016 season of philanthropy I would like to introduce to you the newest member of the Blue Bear staff:

My name is Renee Richardson and I am director of development at Blue Bear School of Music. You might recognize my name because for more than 20 years my voice occupied the airwaves in the Bay Area. From commercial voice-overs to traffic reports and finally, for most of my career, morning show host at KFOG radio in SF. During my long and joy-filled career at KFOG I was able to help support and build a music community through the Local Scene series. It was amazing, because like you, I love music.  

 Today I find myself in the unique position to be able to help inspire a new generation of musicians. Whether you play music yourself, or you are like me and simply can’t help but react to a great song, you can help support music education

We are so pleased to have Renee working with us to expand our outreach – we now have over 20 music programs in schools and community centers around San Francisco. We are especially proud of our programs in the Tenderloin at Glide Memorial, the Tenderloin Rec. Center, The Mix Teen Center at SF Main Library and now partnering with 926 Valencia in their new Tenderloin location; and in the Bayview at the Bayview Opera House and the Bayview YMCA teen center. Many kids are having the most meaningful experiences of their young lives in our programs:

What I enjoyed most this summer was creating and performing our own song in the Blue Bear class.

Isaiah W., age 10

Tenderloin Recreation Center

Blue Bear School of Music, with the support of people like you, has been able to grow its music programming while so many schools have had to cut their vital arts programs. Vital because without arts programming children miss out. Music education, specifically, helps coordination, communication skills, and has shown to improve academic performance. So please make a gift to Blue Bear School of Music today.

Here’s Renee again:

Since the school opened its doors in 1971 the vibe has been: all people should be able to play the music they love. That idea still holds true today but we need your support to continue to help the kids who need it most. I get so angry when I hear about another young child getting caught up with guns; let’s give them guitars! There are innumerable stories of lives being changed with access to music. When I went to observe our program at the Bayview Opera House I saw the place light up with inspiration when our Outreach Director, Cole Berggren, walked in the place. We need your support to keep inspiring.

Our partners also recognize the value we bring to these communities:

Blue Bear has been a tremendous partner to the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA. I have been impressed by Blue Bear’s ability to deliver high quality music programming and Blue Bear instructors have done a great job building relationships with our young people and tailoring their curriculum to make it interesting and relevant to them. We look forward to continuing to partner with them in the years to come

Sarah Ballard-Hanson

Sr. Director of Beacons & Youth and Teen Services

Bayview Hunters Point YMCA

So from both Renee and me:






Steve Savage                                   Renee Richardson

Executive Director                          Director of Development

You should also know that Blue Bear School of Music is committed to its faculty. We fully understand it is very hard to have a career in the arts and keep up with San Francisco’s ever changing economic landscape. We are proud to help support the careers of over 40 professional musicians who teach for Blue Bear.
P.P.S. Please act now – make a donation using the enclosed envelope or by visiting the donate link at our website (www.bluebearmusic.org). Your gift will put more music into our community and in doing so you will create a better world. Thank you.