Cultural center receives $25,000 matching grant for ‘Sound Connections’ program


The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach has received a $25,000 matching grant challenge for “Sound Connections,” the center’s music therapy outreach program that serves children with special needs in three Ponte Vedra elementary schools.

Established by the Persbacker-Wyman Family Foundation, the matching gift is aimed at sparking community support for the program. The cultural center is now challenging the community to help raise $50,000 to sustain this outreach program for the 2017-2018 school year at Ocean Palms, Valley Ridge Academy and PVPV/Rawlings elementary schools. From now until Dec. 1, every contribution of $50 or more will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000 to help the center achieve its $50,000 goal.

The center’s board-certified music therapists, Minda Gordon and Candice Sirak, use music to promote learning and skill acquisition at selected public schools in St. Johns County. Music therapy uses music as the therapeutic stimulus to achieve treatment goals. The practice has shown correlation to speech, singing, rhythm and motor behavior, memory for song and academic material and an overall ability to enhance mood, attention and behavior.

To contribute to the Sound Connections Matching Gift Challenge, visit the cultural center website at or call (904) 280-0614 ext. 203.