Community Possible: Play

We believe in the power of play.

Happy girls at the park photo
Girls celebrate the opening of a new play space in Kirkland, Washington.

Play brings joy, helps develop problem-solving skills, creativity and relationships, and builds social and emotional learning.

We believe communities are stronger when they are connected through the arts, recreation and play. This is why we invest in community programming that supports access to the arts, arts education and learning through play for children and adults in low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities.

Places to Play

In 2018, we celebrated the impact of a three-year investment in providing youth safe places to play in Minnesota, called U.S. Bank Places to Play(download PDF - 2mb).

This initiative included a partnership with the Minnesota Vikings to fund play spaces in LMI areas across Minnesota. We have been able to make a significant impact through this partnership over the past three years.

Kyle Rudolph plays sepak takraw photo
Minnesota Vikings player Kyle Rudolph plays sepak takraw at new permanent courts in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Making play and music possible for everyone

The extension of our U.S. Bank Places to Play program with the Country Music Association (CMA) and the CMA Foundation brought music to many youth in our communities.

“We are always looking for key partners who share our same mission and vision for revitalizing communities and supporting tomorrow’s future leaders,” said Tiffany Kerns, Executive Director, CMA Foundation. “The U.S. Bank Places to Play program was able to impact thousands of children in five communities through the power of music — the ultimate unifier and a true catalyst for helping shape our next generation.”

In July, we joined the CMA Foundation at a Boys and Girls Club in Chicago to help bring music to life through Notes for Notes, a nonprofit organization that lets kids explore, create and record music for free.

“This partnership with the CMA and CMA Foundation supports music education programs that teach important life skills and develop the leaders of tomorrow,” said Marsha Cruzan, U.S. Bank Chicago Market President. “Notes for Notes plays a vital part of introducing music to the youth of our communities.”

Country music star Brett Eldredge was joined by other hit songwriters to build and paint musical instruments with participants. Then they sat down with teenagers to talk about what inspires them. From having a special pencil to getting out of their daily routine, the stars answered questions about what it takes to write a song.

Matthew Morales with Eric Paslay plays guitar photo
Matthew Morales jams with Eric Paslay.

This was such a cool experience for our kids. Many of our students have loaner instruments, so this will be the first time receiving their own brand-new instruments. That’s very special and will allow them to see what’s possible when it comes to music.

Myka Miller
Chief Executive Officer of the Harmony Project

In September, students from the Harmony Project were invited to attend a sound check for the CMA Songwriters Series presented by U.S. Bank in Los Angeles featuring Florida Georgia Line. Students had an opportunity to sit down with the duo and a handful of songwriters to learn about the music profession. The students also received new instruments from U.S. Bank and the CMA Foundation. Additionally, U.S. Bank and the CMA Foundation surprised a Harmony Project student with a trip to the CMA Awards and an opportunity to play alongside Eric Paslay.

Notes for Notes and the Harmony Project are two of the organizations that U.S. Bank and the CMA Foundation partnered with in 2018 as part of U.S. Bank Places to Play and the #MusicMadePossible series. U.S. Bank has donated $230,000 to Notes for Notes and the Harmony Project along with Roselawn Condon Elementary School in Cincinnati, Napier Elementary School in Nashville, and Seattle public schools.

“Music is not just learning how to play an instrument, but also learning how to sing, write or even produce music,” said Cruzan. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from – we all love music.”

Kids holding guitar photo
U.S. Bank and the CMA Foundation partner to provide new instruments to students in Cincinnati, Ohio.