Last November, we shared the story of pianist Royce Martin. Royce’s story started four years ago when he picked up his sister’s keyboard and began teaching himself to play piano by watching YouTube videos. From there he was connected to Pianos for People (an A&E grantee), who helped Martin’s family get a full-sized piano for their home. Since then he won the 2016 St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, where A&E funds one of the prizes, performed in honor of Pianos for People at A&E’s 2017 St. Louis Arts Awards and was awarded a paid internship with Open Studio Network (a tenant in A&E’s Centene Center for the Arts) through A&E’s Art Education Fund.

The ripple effect of the arts gets wider this fall as Martin begins a new chapter on the East Coast as a freshman at Berklee College of Music this fall. In a public Facebook post, Martin shared what this new experience means to him and the role donors played in getting to Berklee.

“This achievement wouldn’t be possible for me without your continuous support through encouraging words, donations, and honestly just the belief in my potential as an artist.”

He went on to share, “Throughout my four short years studying the piano, there has been many times where I’ve felt behind. I’ve been in a lot of situations where I had to play catch up. Throughout this though, my channel of support from you all has remained consistent.”

Because of the ripple effect of the arts, one meaningful arts experience with a piano led to Martin discovering a life path.

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For more stories about the ripple effect of the arts in our region, click here.

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