We’re calling on you to BE AN INSTRUMENT FOR CHANGE!

Rock to the Future's fundraiser poster. Two girls single with title Be an Instrument for Change


Music has the power to change lives, and at Rock to the Future, we believe in harnessing that power to create brighter futures for young individuals in Philadelphia. Our mission goes beyond music. It's about empowering youth to thrive, dream, and succeed.

With that being said, we're thrilled to announce our latest initiative, the "Be an Instrument for Change" campaign! This campaign is more than a fundraising effort. It's a movement that seeks to transform the lives of the youth we serve.


"This program showed me how to just be out there, be determined, be eager be hungry...  this program has it’s fun, but it’s also a very professional environment. We have days where we learn about different colleges, trade, scholarships and ways to get those scholarships...Ways to get into a career. These opportunities gave me pathways to look at giving me a clear thought of where I want to be. Everyone has a target and that’s bettering ourselves and our community and I am very thankful to have this community!" - Rock to the Future Student



At its core, this campaign aims to raise $100,000 to support our mission. The funds we collect will directly benefit our programs in four crucial areas:

Expanding Access: We're committed to reaching more young hearts by establishing new locations in Philadelphia's under-resourced neighborhoods. Music should be accessible to all, and we're making that a reality.

Supporting Peaceful Ecosystems: Our justice program now serves 60 youth in incarceration each week. We're strengthening our re-entry pipeline, offering youth anti-violence and conflict resolution training, and providing a pathway to a peaceful future.

Bolstering Economic Empowerment: We're deepening our college, trade, and career readiness programs and offering paid workforce and skill development opportunities. We aim to equip young people with the tools they need to succeed professionally.

Strengthening Holistic Wellness: We're building strategic partnerships with organizations that provide essential services like food, housing, healthcare, and more to address the diverse needs of our youth and families. It's about nurturing well-being on every level.



Your support matters more than you can imagine. It's the fuel that powers our programs, nurtures dreams, and transforms lives. By joining us in the "Be an Instrument for Change" campaign, you become a catalyst for making dreams come true.

Every donation brings us closer to our $100,000 goal. But it's not just about the funds. It's about the hope and opportunity you provide. It's about being the change, helping young individuals heal, grow, and succeed.




Every contribution, no matter the size, is a stepping stone toward our goal. Remember, all donations made before December 31 will be matched, doubling your impact!

Be An Instrument for Change! Donate Today:

Rock to the Future students Happy on stage



Please help us reach more supporters by sharing this campaign with your network. Together, we can create a harmonious future for the youth we serve. Thank you for being a part of our journey and for empowering the dreams of the youth we serve. Together, we can be the change.


Rock to the Future’s Impact Report Reveals Pathways to Brighter Futures

Rock to the Future students Happy on stage

Every number in our impact report tells a story, but beyond the figures, it's essential to reflect on the profound meaning of "impact." For many young individuals in Philadelphia, access to after-school and music education programs isn't just about learning chords or scales; they are the keys to unlocking potential, nurturing dreams, and fostering the growth of young minds.  For Rock to the Future, impact is our driving force. It's the heartbeat of our mission, as we aim to support lifelong wellbeing for youth, by providing a supportive and safe space for students to chart their pathways to a brighter future, and embrace the power of music to heal, inspire, and guide them.


"About two years two months into program, she passed. I lost my therapist, my supporter, my best friend, my mom, dude. When I tell you I was down in the dumps, I couldn't get out of bed half the time but I came here and I felt rejuvenated. I felt life breathed back into me. I come here to Rock to the Future, and I feel like I'm with my mom. I feel like Rock to the Future is a gift from her and I wouldn't be here without you guys. I've learned that it is good to have people by your side who want to see you win. That's a beautiful thing and that's something not a lot of people have." - Student



We are thrilled to share with you our latest impact report, "Guiding Pathways to Brighter Futures through the Power of Music." In this report, we delve into the impact that Rock to the Future has had on the lives of young people, exploring how our programs are designed to support pathways to peaceful ecosystems, pathways to economic empowerment, and pathways to holistic wellness. Here are some highlights: 


A Year of Growth and Exanding Access: We are proud to announce that we have served a remarkable 800 students (300 more than last year!) from high need zipcodes, representing 55 schools.  

Paid Opportunities for Students: Empowering the Future:  Through our partnership with the Philadelphia Youth Network's WorkReady program we’re thrilled to share that more than $46,000 was distributed to our students for participating in creative skill development sessions. 

Supporting Transformation at the Juvenile Justice Service Center:  We expanded program to serve 60 youth, boys, providing creative outlets and also strengthening our systems to support reentry into community. 

Rock to the Future students Happy on stage


In the Spotlight with the Bacon Brothers, Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift: One of our most exciting achievements this year was recording and debuting a song with the Bacon Brothers. Kevin Bacon then invited us to be featured on the Kelly Clarkson show to share our story! Later that season VisitPhilly selected us as a recipient to receive $26,000 and invited our students to perform as the official welcome gift for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, a gift they wanted to impact musical journeys in Philly. 

Investing in Futures: Perhaps the most heartwarming statistic of all is that 100% of our Musicore graduates are pursuing college or trade school. We provided scholarships and laptops to support their dreams, and we're incredibly proud of their accomplishments.



This impact report is not just a collection of data; they are the stories of young people whose lives are transformed by music, mentorship, and community. As we invite you to explore our full impact report, we hope you'll join us in celebrating these achievements and the pathways to brighter futures that we've collectively forged. Together, we can continue to make a difference, empowering more young individuals to reach their full potential and harmonizing lives through the transformative power of music.

Thank you for being a part of this journey. We couldn't do it without you.

Our Graduating Seniors are Ready for the Future

Graduation is a time of celebration and new beginnings for high school seniors. However, for many talented and driven students in underserved communities, the path to higher education is filled with obstacles. 


“Rock to the Future got me out of a very dark time of my life. About two months into my program of last year, my mom passed. I lost my therapist, my supporter, my best friend, my mom, dude. when I tell you I was down in the dumps, I couldn't get out of bed half the time. I came here and I felt rejuvenated. I felt life, I just felt it breathed back into me. I come here and I feel closer to her.I feel like Rock to the Future is a gift from her and without her, I mean, I wouldn't be here and without you guys, I wouldn't be here either.” 

- Graduating RTTF Senior 2023 

 We recognize the critical opportunity that music plays in building trust and bringing youth through our doors to rock out. And while we have our young people in our music programs, we also support students on their journey towards college, trade school, and post-graduation success.



Rock to the Future breaks down barriers and empowers students to reach their full potential. Through college trips, guest speakers, application and scholarship writing support, access to essential resources, personal encouragement, and the Higher Education Fund - which provides laptops and scholarships for graduates – we aim to make higher education more accessible and attainable for deserving students who may not have the financial means or support network to pursue their dreams. Our student pursue careers in education, technology, business, music, culinary arts, and so much more. 

“Rock to the Future opened my eyes to possibilities. I got to go to Temple. That's how I got to decide that I wanted to go to Temple, thanks to the trip that we had here.” 

- Graduating RTTF Senior 2023


Through our Higher Education Fund, graduating seniors receive a scholarship of up to $1,500. These scholarships help alleviate the burden of up front costs such as tuition expenses, textbooks, and other educational expenses. By removing financial barriers, we enable students to focus on their studies and fully engage in the college experience. With your support, we will expand the reach of these scholarships and provide opportunities for even more deserving students.

In today's digital age, having the right tools is crucial for academic achievement. Our Higher Education Fund also provides graduating seniors with brand new MacBook, ensuring they have the necessary technology to thrive in college and beyond. These laptops become powerful tools for research, online collaboration, and accessing educational resources. By donating to our fund, you directly contribute to a graduating senior's ability to excel in their studies and successfully navigate the digital landscape of higher education.

The impact of the Higher Education Fund goes far beyond financial assistance and laptops. By investing in these students, you are investing in their futures and the future of our communities. Our graduating seniors break the cycle of limited opportunities and create positive change in their lives and communities. Through higher education, they gain knowledge, skills, and networks that can lead to rewarding careers, economic mobility, leadership roles, and the ability to give back.


To support our Higher Education Fund and make a difference in the lives of graduating seniors, please visit https://givebutter.com/RTTFYES  today. Your generosity can help shape a brighter future for these deserving students and our community as a whole.

Together, let's empower and uplift the next generation of leaders and change-makers.


Special thank you to the Katz family for their substantial and continuing support of our Higher Education Fund in memory of Martin Katz

Rock to the Future Pride Statement

June is Pride Month, a time set aside to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ Community. It is great to use this time to reflect on how far we as a nation have grown in recent years, to celebrate the resilience of queer community members in the face of injustices, and encourage queer people to be their authentic selves. While the LGBTQIA+ community has a lot to celebrate, it is important to recognize that the fight is not over. 

Pride began as a protest. On June 28th 1969, the New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn. This started a 6 day long protest that ignited the LGBTQ rights movement across the nation. It is famously known that the first brick was thrown by Marsha P. Johnson, a trans woman of color. This rebellion was a stand for dignity, respect, and for queer people to be afforded the rights of every other American. 

With anti-LGBTQ bills sweeping the nation, specifically anti-trans bills aimed at children, and a rhetoric of “Don’t Say Gay'' echoing louder and louder, it is important now more than every to stand beside our friends and family members that are part of that community to let them know that they are seen and valued. Pride is a time to highlight the push for progress, the struggles that remain, and the joy, beauty, and infinite contributions of the queer community. 

We strive to create a safe space where all members of our community feel empowered to be their authentic selves. We want everyone to know that Rock to the Future is not afraid to say gay. We stand with the LGBTQ communities not just in June, but year round. 

In honor of Pride Month and the Stonewall Anniversary, Rock to the Future is making a $250 donation to the Attic Youth Center, a local nonprofit that supports LGBTQ youth. We ask that you consider making a donation as well. 

Thank You, 

Jessica Craft 
CEO + Founder

Music for All Ball is a Resounding Success

Rock to the Future "Plays for Peace" at Music for All Ball

Raising $110,000 to Support Peaceful Ecosystems for Philly Youth

In a world often marked by discord and division, the universal language of music emerges as a beacon of unity and healing. This is precisely what Music for All Ball achieved in its latest milestone event. With the resounding theme of "Playing for Peace" and a star-studded lineup of performers, including Rock to the Future students, The Bacon Brothers, Sug Daniels, Natasha Felder, Reef the Lost Cauze, and emcee Quentin Miller, this extraordinary gala wasn't just a celebration of music; it was a testament to the power of harmony and the commitment to change lives. In this blog, we'll take you on a captivating journey through Music for All Ball's remarkable successes and the transformative impact of "Playing for Peace."

Raising $110,000 for Change: Music for All Ball hit a high note by raising an impressive $110,000, a testament to the collective belief in the power of music to change lives. These funds will be instrumental in expanding programs to areas impacted by violence and within the Juvenile Justice Services Center, offering a lifeline to youth who deserve a brighter future.

The Resounding Theme "Playing for Peace" Unveiled: Playing for Peace" encapsulated the evening's purpose — to use music not only as a form of entertainment but as a means of advocating for peace, unity, and positive change. The theme underscored Music for All Ball's mission to address the challenges of violence and unrest in our communities, offering a message of hope through music.



A Star-Studded Lineup:  Rock to the Future Students took the stage, showcasing their dedication and the transformative power of music education. Philly legends,  The Bacon Brothers, graced the event with their presence and their hit "Philly Thing," produced in collaboration with RTTF students, further amplifying the evening's message of unity. Rising local talent Sug Daniels mesmerized the audience with their soulful melodies and a commitment to positive change. Board member Natasha Felder lent her support and talent, contributing to the evening's atmosphere of inspiration. And local rap legend Reef the Lost Cauze brought his unique voice and energy to the stage, adding to the diverse musical tapestry of the event.

Gathering for a Purpose: Music for All Ball provided an exceptional opportunity for supporters and music lovers to gather and connect with a shared goal — to make a difference through music. Attendees had the chance to network, collaborate, and find common ground, reinforcing the idea that music can bridge divides and foster unity.

Rock to the Future family attends Music for all Ball and pose with guitars.


Music for All Ball's triumphant celebration of "Playing for Peace" serves as a reminder that music is more than just entertainment; it's a powerful force for change and healing. With an impressive fundraising effort of $110,000, this event has set the stage for transformative programs in areas impacted by violence and within the Juvenile Justice Services Center. The star-studded lineup, including Rock to the Future students, The Bacon Brothers, Sug Daniels, Natasha Felder, and Reef the Lost Cauze, illustrated the diverse and unifying power of music. As we reflect on this remarkable night, we are reminded that when we play for peace, we harmonize hope, and together, we can create a better world through the universal language of music.



Special thank you to all Music for All Sponsors for believieng in the Magic of Music with us and for helping to make this year's Music for All Ball one to remember. Thank you: Sixdegrees.org MOR Wealth Management, John and Adele Cummins, Justamere Foundation, Circle Thrift, Nexa, Rob and Stacey Katz, EisnerAmper, The Mastermind Coop, Ceisler Media, Brolik, Russo Music, Port Richmond Bank, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Save the date for our next Music for All Ball, happening Saturday, April 20, 2023 at World Cafe Live. Interesting and sponsoring or supporting this event? Contact our Institutional Relations Manager at Sophia@rocktothefuture.org.
Relive the night and check out all of our Music for All Ball photos HERE.

Rock to the Future Goes to Hollywood! The Kelly Clarkson Show

The Kelly Clarkson Show and Kevin Bacon Show Support for Philly-Based Non-Profit
On a recent episode of the Kelly Clarkson Show, Philadelphia's Rock to the Future had a special appearance, featuring the organization's founder and CEO Jessica Craft, co-founder Josh Craft, program alumni Jared Smith, and Nia Collins-Davenport. The organization provides free music programs for young people, and their appearance on the show highlighted the positive impact that their programs have on the youth of Philadelphia.
Actor and musician Kevin Bacon, who is a long-time supporter of Rock to the Future, also made an appearance on the show. Bacon's involvement with the organization includes collaborations on music projects and upcoming performances.
Rock to the Future's programs offer music education, mentorship, and social services support, all at no cost to over 700 youth in Philadelphia. Their offerings include guitar, bass, drums, piano, music production, original songwriting, and live performance. By providing safe spaces for students to learn and create, the organization helps build social and intellectual capital, life skills, and personal well-being.
Rock to the Future's appearance on the Kelly Clarkson Show and the support of Kevin Bacon showcase the organization's commitment to empowering young people through music.
As Kevin Bacon notes, “the goal isn’t to make them the next rock stars, but it’s to make them feel like the next rock stars.” The Bacon Brothers’ Six Degrees initiative shines a light on organizations like Rock to the Future, inspiring others to support their own communities.
“We’re proud to partner with Rock to the Future and help spread the word about their impact on young lives in Philadelphia,” said Kevin Bacon. “We hope this song and our collaboration will inspire others to learn more about the organization and support their mission.”
As the organization continues to grow and expand its reach, it is clear that their programs have a positive impact on the youth of Philadelphia. We can't wait to see what exciting collaborations and performances are in store for Rock to the Future in the future!

Music For All Ball featuring Natasha

We are excited to introduce our next featured performer for the Music For All Ball - Natasha!   Born and raised in Philadelphia, Natasha was introduced to music education while attending the Philadelphia School District, where she played the clarinet and became a member of the All City Music program. She continued her music studies throughout her academic career and is now classically trained in vocal performance.   Natasha is a proud graduate of University City High School, Lincoln University of PA, Saint Joseph’s University, and Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Her passion for helping young people led her to work for the past 17 years with several organizations and non-profits  like Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, where she served as a Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow and developed a toolkit to improve representation for girls in the adult criminal justice system.   Join us on April 29 at World Cafe Live for the Rock to the Future - Music for All Ball, where Natasha and many other special guests will be performing alongside our talented students.     Tickets are now on sale! www.RocktotheFuture.org/musicforallball   

“Philly Thing” Takes the City by Storm


As the Philadelphia Eagles gear up for the Super Bowl, a new phrase “It’s a Philly Thing” is taking the city by storm. But for local non-profit Rock to the Future and the Bacon Brothers, this phrase represents much more than just a football team. The Bacon Brothers, including renowned actor Kevin Bacon, recently joined forces with Rock to the Future to write and record a new song of the same name, “Philly Thing.” This collaboration was a perfect marriage between their desire to give back to their hometown and Rock to the Future’s mission of providing free music education and mentorship to young people in communities across Philadelphia.

Rock to the Future’s programs offer young people opportunities to connect with professional musicians, receive educational and personal support, and get exposure to the music industry. As Kevin Bacon notes, “the goal isn’t to make them the next rock stars, but it’s to make them feel like the next rock stars.”

The Bacon Brothers’ Six Degrees initiative shines a light on organizations like Rock to the Future, inspiring others to support their own communities. “We’re proud to partner with Rock to the Future and help spread the word about their impact on young lives in Philadelphia,” said Kevin Bacon. “We hope this song and our collaboration will inspire others to learn more about the organization and support their mission.”

Rock to the Future has also been a community partner of the Philadelphia Eagles since 2016, as part of the Eagles Care Initiative. This partnership has provided Rock to the Future with financial support, professional development opportunities, access to NFL events, and peer-to-peer networking with other local organizations. It has allowed Rock to the Future to positively impact the surrounding community and continue its mission of providing free music education to under-resourced neighborhoods.

Rock to the Future selected as Top Ten in Nation!

Rock to the Future Receives $50,000 National Award to Expand Free Music and Mentoring Programs for Philly Youth
PHILADELPHIA, PA – January 3, 2023 – Out of the 249 nationwide applicants,
Philadelphia-based Rock to the Future has been selected as a top ten awardee for the
prestigious Lewis Prize for Music Catalyst Award. The Catalyst Award grants $50,000 to leaders and programs with impressive impact and reach that focus on creative youth development. Inequitable systems often fail to prioritize music learning in young people’s lives. As a result, too many young people are not supported to express themselves creatively. This stifles young people’s potential to become powerful citizens, who through musical pursuits, learn to contribute positively to their communities. With this funding, Rock to the Future will expand their highly impactful music and mentoring programs in public schools, community locations, juvenile justice facilities, and intervention programs to support coordinated anti-violence efforts.
Rock to the Future was founded in 2010 as a volunteer organization to support positive youth
development through community-based music programs in neighborhoods that have been
deprived of funding and resources. Beginning in North Philadelphia with 13 students, enrollment rapidly grew, and Rock to the Future now serves over 600 children and teens annually through after-school, in-school, and summer programs. Rooted in equity, all of the programs are provided at no cost for students through partnerships with schools, community locations, and juvenile justice facilities.
Rock to the Future works with resilient young people in neighborhoods affected by poverty and
violence. Their programs combine exciting, student-driven music programming – like learning
guitar, bass, drums, piano, music production, original songwriting, and live performance – with
education, mentoring, and social services support. In safe spaces, youth build social and
intellectual capital and life skills which supports high school graduation, college and trade school participation, peer relationships, and personal well-being. Thousands of community members celebrate the talents and achievements of local youth through dozens of free performances each year. Rock to the Future is currently working with the Juvenile Justice Services Center to expand programs in their facility and is building a youth-led music studio in Hunting Park through a partnership with As I Plant This Seed.
“With gun violence at an all time high, all help is needed,” said Ron Fuller from the Juvenile
Justice Service Center, one of Rock to the Future’s partners. “All this good work with no cost.
You just don’t find that type of commitment nowadays. Residents can’t wait until programming
day to work on new music. Rock to the Future came through for our children.”
Rock to the Future envisions that youth in Philadelphia will unlock their fullest potential through their music-based youth development programs. Since their inception, 100% of their
after-school participants have pursued professional career paths. Rock to the Future’s
high-quality programs are a catalyst for individual success, economic empowerment, and safe
and thriving communities.
Founded in 2018 by philanthropist Daniel R. Lewis, The Lewis Prize for Music believes young
people with access to high-quality music learning, performance, and creation opportunities will
mature into thriving individuals. By supporting music leaders across the country to continue their great work, The Lewis Prize for Music hopes to inspire other partners to work together to ensure every young person has the opportunity to access transformative music learning, performance, and creation.

Be An Instrument for Change: Reason8

Every day, as we see rising violence and trauma impacting young people, we are reminded of the pressing need for change in our communities. Rock to the Future proudly stands as a Community Arts Leader grounded in more than a decade of providing proven transformative music, academic, and developmental opportunities that work! As we grow our program to double the number of students served this year, we urgently call on you to join our efforts and Be an Instrument for Change!

Being one means being intentional about using your resources to invest in young people's futures. It means recognizing yourself as a powerful resonator capable of shifting realities. 

Resonation is a defining element of an instrument.  It happens when the vibrations of one object cause a second object with a similar vibrating frequency to start vibrating at a higher frequency. Likewise, when humans resonate, we connect through shared experience, developing compassion, empathy, and understanding, and those qualities drive our actions to create a better world for all.

What’s your reason for resonating with us?

Because of your support, we are doing incredible work beyond music education. In addition to exciting music opportunities, our programs offer higher education and academic support, pathways to professional careers, individual resource assistance, and social-emotional learning at no cost to participants. We also develop unique partnerships with organizations such as the Juvenile Justice Center and the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia, so we can directly serve students impacted by crime. 

With that said, we won’t just give you a reason – we will give you 8 reasons to resonate, aka REASON8. Tune in each week as we share fascinating new stories demonstrating our work's impact.


We challenge you to find the reason that most resonates with you, then choose to invest in our work by donating to our fundraiser – Be An Instrument for Change! The impact of your resonating qualities will amplify our program's quality and capability and be a critical part of helping young people vibrate higher. Together, with you as an instrument for change, we will make beautiful sounds that create a beautiful ballad for change. 

Invest in young people’s Futures today. All Donations up to $50,000 will be matched. www.rocktothefuture.org/donate2022

Watch all weekly videos on Youtube. and Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Watch REASON8 Youtube Playlist



What is “Be an Instrument for Change”?

Be an Instrument for change is the campaign title for Rock to the Future current fundraiser. Rock to the Future calls on all supporters to be an instrument for change by supporting our current work by donating by Dec 31, 2022 at Link. All donations will be matched up to $50,000. 

An instrument for change is someone who intentionally shares their resources to pursue an aim to make a change in an area they are passionate about transforming. Rock to the Future’s Instruments for Change are changemakers in music education, higher education, and fostering opportunities to support students impacted by crime and poverty.

What is Reason8?

The word Resonate has various meanings in this campaign

The first is the challenge for Rock to the Future supporters to find the part of our program that resonates most with them - What reason do you resonate with?

The second metaphorically compares the musical definition of resonation with human exchange. Resonance is an essential component of the physics of an instrument (Be an Instrument For Change). Whenever the vibrations of one object cause a second object with similar frequencies to start vibrating, the second object is said to be resonating with the first. This resonating part of the instrument helps to determine many important aspects of the instrument's sound, and they connect in meaningful ways which drive impactful outcomes.

The third meaning of the word Resonate is a play on words that combines the first and second meanings mentioned above. There are 8 weeks in the campaign, and each week we will release new content that focuses on a program area or new reason. When you put Reason (what’s your reason to resonate) and 8 (8-week campaign countdown)  together, you get Reason8 (resonate). 

How will the funds raised support our mission?

Through music, we provide a bridge to well-being, professional pathways and economic empowerment, and violence reduction. As we continue our high-impact existing programs, new priorities include: 

Providing more access: Grow our MobileMusic locations in areas impacted by violence and poverty, with a focus on new areas that lack access to current locations due to distance (West Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia). We anticipate adding 5+ locations this year and an additional 5+ the following year. 

Reducing violence and recidivism: Strengthen our Juvenile Justice Center pipeline for when youth are released from the facility to provide an ongoing support system and workforce development opportunities.

Increasing economic empowerment: Strengthen our Ready for the Future program by providing additional paid workforce and skill development opportunities, additional college and trade school supports, and partnership building to provide additional financial resources for our youth to achieve professional pathways.

Increasing overall well-being: Strengthen our holistic support through individual assistance with housing, health, food, and other youth and families' needs.