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Hopewell Music Cooperative North: Building community through music
By Local 30-73 Member Andrea Myers

After years of dreaming Ellie Fregni and Jaette Carpenter, two longtime Northside teachers, established Hopewell Music Cooperative North (HMCN) in April 2012. As the first nonprofit music school on the Northside, HMCN’s mission is to provide high quality music education for the community with a focus on underserved students through lessons, ensembles, and courses as well as providing accessible performance venues for community members.

North Minneapolis faces a much higher crime rate, rate of unemployment, lower average income, and a higher rate of homelessness and foreclosure - in short, it is an underserved area. The cost of music lessons keeps community members from receiving private instruction and leaves hands empty of instruments. Northside schools struggle to keep music programs in place and are not able to provide the type of music education they dream of for their students. This is where HMCN comes into play - we seek to make lessons more affordable by offering a sliding scale fee ranging from full priced to free in accordance to the federal lunch program for our school aged students. Adults interested in lessons also have their lesson priced on a sliding scale fee but is based on income. Location accessibility also was a roadblock for receiving private instruction so in response we are based out of River of Life Lutheran, North United Methodist Church and will return to Webber Park once construction is complete. All locations are located near or on bus lines.

Through our efforts we aim to strengthen the community by promoting acceptance, cooperation, and pride within our students and partners. HMCN commits itself to community building by providing instruction in music to ALL members of the community of North Minneapolis who want to participate regardless of ability or circumstances. We accomplish this community building by having our community choir based out of Camden Care Center to ensure access to our senior community members, Hopewellites are often seen around town playing at church services, benefits, and inside businesses, and all ensemble performances can be found at Northside venues unless we are performing an outreach concert. Our monthly student recitals typically take place in area churches but don’t be surprised if you see our students performing at events such as Harvest Fest!

At Hopewell our motto is “Music for All” and that is what we strive for every day. Being able to receive private instruction, be in a choir or orchestra, or simply have an instrument shouldn’t be a privilege. The desire and need is apparent - in a little over a year we have grown from 50 students to over 100 students, 6 teachers, 2 administrative staff members, and 6 ensembles. Currently more than fifty percent of our students receive free and reduced lessons and use Hopewell provided instruments at little to no cost.

In order to succeed we not only need the support from the Northside community but from the music community as a whole. Volunteers are always welcomed into the Hopewell family! Martha, our volunteer coordinator, would be happy to help you find your place. Have some duplicate copies of a piece or an old instrument lying around that’s not being played? We’d love to have them. What about those concert tickets that you won’t be using? Consider donating them so that a student can attend their first high-quality, professional performance.

If you are interested in finding out more information about Hopewell please visit us at, like us on Facebook, or give us a ring! Volunteer inquiries can be emailed to Martha at All other general questions can be sent to


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