Doug Emhoff meets musicians from the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and other arts groups while visiting recipients of Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, which helped support orchestras nationwide during the pandemic.

When Vice President Kamala Harris toured Milwaukee in January, her husband, Doug Emhoff, visited the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) to highlight the federal COVID-19 relief grants that helped the arts center remain open and organizations such as the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) and First Stage to keep operating during the pandemic. Emhoff met with the leaders of MYAC, MYSO, and First Stage, and young musicians from the Milwaukee Youth Symphony spoke about what the arts mean to them. Noor Salameh, a cellist in the youth orchestra’s Senior Symphony, talked about her volunteer work with Progressions, an intensive string training program for third- and fourth-graders, and how she views classical music training and orchestral ensembles as examples of equity in education, with everyone learning and working towards a shared goal. Clark Snavely, concertmaster of the Senior Symphony, said, “It would have been hard to make it through the height of the pandemic without MYSO.” Emhoff stated that a background in the arts would serve the students well, wherever their career paths might lead.