Booker backers give Juilliard $50m minorities booster

Booker backers give Juilliard $50m minorities booster


norman lebrecht

December 16, 2021

Crankstart, the charitable foundation of Sir Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman, has given $50 million to the Juilliard School to expand its weekend programs for Black and Latino schoolchildren.

The couple, who fund the Booker Prize in Literature, are based in California. Heyman said she hoped the gift ‘will help bring new spirit, as well as superb young musicians, to orchestras, concert halls and theatres everywhere.’

Juilliard are calling the gift ‘transformational’.


  • A Pianist says:

    I have no shortage of cynicism but this sounds good to me. The MAP outreach programs in my day (admittedly a while ago now) reached lots of kids who otherwise would not have been exposed, with some good resources.

    • V.Lind says:

      I’d be interested to know what these programmes are. Teaching music to anyone expressing interest from the ground up? Or do the kids have to know something about music to get in?

      Or is it giving them “shows,” to try to inculcate an interest?

      I hope it is starting from scratch. The schools won’t do it, so laces like Juilliard are a very good Plan B.

      • Enquirer says:

        I typed Juilliard MAP into my search engine, and got straight to the website: Their FAQ section should answer all your questions. I quote the site’s lead statement, to correct SD’s mischievously slanted narrative:

        “MAP is a Saturday program for intermediate and advanced music students from New York City’s five boroughs and the tristate area who demonstrate a commitment to artistic excellence. The program actively seeks students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in the classical music field and is committed to enrolling the most talented and deserving students regardless of their financial background. Through a rigorous curriculum, performance opportunities, and guidance from an accomplished faculty, MAP students gain the necessary skills to pursue advanced music studies while developing their talents as artists, leaders, and global citizens.”

    • Frank Flambeau says:

      He’s worth $2.6 billion (Forbes) but despite having signed a ”pledge” to give away half that (not legally binding) even if he did he’d still be as rich as Trump almost. My question: so what?

      By the way, through 2012, he’d given away less than 2%, according to Wikipedia. Much less than his fortune has grown.

  • violafan says:

    Spelled Juilliard wrong in your last sentence.

    Rookie mistake.

  • Gimel says:


    Compare: Spielberg spent $100M to re-make West Side Story (why, Lord, why?), if he had convinced his backers to spend that $100M on training Puerto Rican and poor white New Yorkers to sing and dance, which do you think would be more transformational for them? A viewing of his new movie costing them $20 or a singing teacher free of charge?

  • jummySociallyCorrectGoodPersonGivesMoney says:

    Yes, put a lot of money there to turn the black and latinos into whiteys!!!!

    Don’t we all just love our blacks, when they sing Bach and play Cello and Harpsichord. Jummy!

    • V.Lind says:


      Institutions all over the western world are hiring diversity officers to make sure “our blacks” CAN sing Bach and play cello and harpsichord. Are we now there — at the point where nothing, nothing, nothing white people do can ever be right?

      Nobody is holding a gun at these kids’ heads. This is an opportunity, not a dragooning. It is learning, which is always a good thing.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Take your medication regularly.

  • BigSir says:

    If they employ Juilliard grads for the outreach, then there is a lot of value added.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Putting their money where their mouths are!! Who does that these days? Well done.

    • Frank Flambeau says:

      He’s worth almost $3 billion, Sue Sonata. Interest on that per year is far more than he has paid out in toto.

  • Larry says:

    Bravo them! A fantastic gift which will, undoubtedly, do a world of good for many kids. I’ve known several teachers in the Juilliard MAP (Music Advancement Program) and they are excellent.

  • TB says:

    I taught in MAP for several years. It is an outstanding program and I have to say, perhaps, the most rewarding teaching job I have ever had. This gift is fantastic!

  • Nijinsky says:

    Black and Latino school children. Well that’s something, but I completely don’t understand why native Americans, or rather First Nation children aren’t included.

    What country is this supposed to be? Everyone else’s?

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    The posture of the woman in the photo is fantastic: domineering and entitled. It strikes me how many women are willing to prostitute themselves for fame and the good life.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Boy, you are assuming an awful lot about a person (I doubt) you’ve never met. I judge people by what they do…they’ve done it and good for them.

      • Ajit says:

        The chronic problem with their little IRS write off is that it’s always white people who are depended upon for money.

        Black people refuse to invest in programs like this to benefit either themselves or other races. They have grown ENTITLED and always expect funding from a single race.

        It is their (black) racism which continues to harm themselves when always expecting gifts the way poorly parented children do.

        Besides, Native Americans whom the left also uses like pawns have been auspiciously left out…AGAIN! Those of us who are also left out keep noticing this and don’t approve of these leftist practices. Only white and black races are count at your universities?!?! No wonder your younger grads can’t support yourselves. You’re merely indoctrinated indigents after getting your fake degrees. Biden sacked you as well with no work on and sld payments re-starting next month. How will you pay?

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    I’m sure they hire minorities too: as gardeners, cooks and maids.

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    Michael Moritz became a billionaire through venture capital (meaning, he paid little or no taxes and lived off the money of others).

    He began his career as a journalist (QUICK: name another journalist who became a billionaire). Wikipedia writes: “In October 2016, The Guardian reported that Michael Moritz “donated $49,999 to a divisive ballot measure intended to clear San Francisco’s streets of homeless encampments, according to campaign filings”.

    Note: Forbes estimates their fortune (no info on how it was made) at $2.6 billion. As of 2012, they had given away only 1.5% of that amount despite having signed a pledge to give away 50%.

    I guess, it’s nice to be the king, as Mel Brooks often said.

    • HugoPreuss says:

      I wonder whether this tsunami of negative comments in light of an extremely generous gift is inspired by envy or simple mean spiritedness… This couple could spend their money in much, much worse ways.

      • Frank Flambeau says:

        Hugo, why limit your possibilities to envy or simple mean spiritedness?

        How about astonishment at the stupidity of the masses and/or abhorrence of greed? How about disgust at wannabies?

        Someone once said something like, show me a great fortune and I will show you a great crime. In this case, probably several.

        A 6% return on 2.6 billion is much greater than what this couple gave. Do the math.

  • Adrienne says:

    What about underprivileged schoolchildren who are not Black or Latino, or do they not exist in the US?

    Good programme, but its implementation as described here makes me nervous. Ignore race and target all underprivileged children. If Black and Latino children are over-represented, as I’m sure they are, they would benefit anyway.

    Leave race out of it, it’s divisive.

  • Jim C says:

    Transformational is right. This won’t be classical music.

  • M2N2K says:

    Any educational program, no matter how well-intentioned and wonderful it may be, is extremely harmful if it is based on race, because such divisive policies promote and increase racist attitudes, which is exactly the opposite of what is needed in USA and elsewhere. Such programs should be based on nothing but financial need.