USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the United States Tennis Association, today announced it has awarded the Uptown Music Theatre a $10,000 grant. The Uptown Music Theatre was established in 2000 by artistic director Delfeayo Marsalis and is a summer arts program which provides junior high and high school youth with musical theatre training. Uptown Music Theatre’s approach to theatre aims to expose children and adults to meaningful stories through an entertaining medium. Uptown Music Theatre’s belief is that musicals have a moral crisis that teaches young people to find a common ground to achieve a peaceful resolution.

The grant monies will be used to support the Kidstown Theatre and Tennis program that teaches students to develop their minds, bodies, intellect and creativity through musical theatre and tennis.

“Because the majority of our students are under the age of 11 years old, our program is right in line with the USTA’s goal to introduce tennis to more kids,” Marsalis said. “Also, we primarily service African-American students, who traditionally are steered toward sports that are more popular and accessible in their communities.”

The USTA Serves also awarded a $10,000 grant to A’s & Aces, which has  a mission to provide academic assistance, life skills, and tennis instruction to New Orleans public school children in a safe and secure environment. The grant monies will provide funding to help start a new A’s & Aces project, the Pathway to College program.