In 2006, the International Talent Hunt Committee of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. saw a need for additional financial support for students in the fine arts. They determined that a nonprofit organization could provide the vehicle required to garner the necessary support. After much discussion, in 2014, the International Talent Hunt Foundation (ITHF) was founded and organized exclusively for charitable, economic, and educational purposes, but without limitations to serve as a publicly supported, exempt organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 2006. The mission of the ITHF is to support and enhance projects, programs, and activities for talented and motivated youth of color in the performing arts, thereby helping develop the nation’s brightest young minority artists into professional artists and teachers of tomorrow.
According to recent data from the League of American Orchestras, Black musicians comprise less than 2% of orchestral players in the U.S. Similarly, Black and Latinx people combined constitute less than 17% of music faculty. In a 2018 study, “The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth”, the National Endowment for the Arts found that 48% of at-risk students who had low arts involvement attended college, while 71% of at-risk youth who had intensive arts involvement attended college. Exposure to the performing arts and music education is beneficial to the academic growth and development of students of color, but arts and music education with some level of rigor is even better and yields stronger outcomes.
There is a significant lack of students of color in the performing arts and music education thus impacting opportunities for students of color to gain opportunities and careers in major orchestras and other performing arts. The International Talent Hunt Foundation seeks to change this dynamic in the foundational years by creating performing arts and music education partnerships to enhance artistic development by sponsoring and conducting master classes, supplying instruments and resources to underserved schools, promoting opportunities for student competitive performances, and enhancing higher education opportunities to support students of color.
Vision – A world-class organization dedicated to the development of youth in the performing and visual arts.
Mission – To support and enhance projects, programs, and activities for talented and motivated youth in the performing and visual arts.
Purpose –The foundation is organized for the purpose of providing financial support in collaboration with other organizations to advance the International Talent Hunt Program.