Allegheny County Music Festival Fund

Since 2000, the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund (ACMFF) has provided children and youth receiving services through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and the Juvenile Section of the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas with life-enriching items and opportunities otherwise unavailable through traditional government funding.

Benefits for Children and Youth

The Allegheny County Music Festival Fund has benefited thousands of children and youth by purchasing a wide variety of items and opportunities including:

  • A week of "live-in" summer camp for at-risk young persons to allow them to engage in healthy activities outside their neighborhood.
  • Lessons in dance, karate and music, and other positive outlets for self-expression for a child who is living in a homeless shelter with his or her mother to escape domestic violence.
  • The opportunity for a child receiving mental health services to spend quality time with his or her family at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium or the National Aviary.
  • The opportunity for a young man or woman, transitioning into adulthood, to attend a college tour and set the course for his or her future.

Monetary Donations

Please consider donating to the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund to provide life-enriching items and opportunities to at-risk children in Allegheny County.

Checks should be made payable to:

Allegheny County Music Festival Fund
One Smithfield Street, Fourth Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Who Is Eligible to Benefit From the ACMFF?

Children receiving services through DHS, a DHS-contracted provider, or Allegheny County Juvenile Probation are eligible to benefit from the ACMFF. The Fund provides items and opportunities to children and youth up to 18 years of age. Those still receiving child welfare services and/or disability services are eligible up to age 21.

Types of Requests That Have Been Approved by the ACMFF

A sampling of approved requests includes, but is not limited to: dance lessons, computers (up to $350) and age-appropriate software, developmental toys and items, graduation expenses, college tours, summer camp tuition, registration fees for recreational activities and memberships to cultural attractions. The ACMFF committee does not review requests for reimbursements for items already purchased or lessons already taken.


Guidelines for Requests with Special Requirements

Kennywood and Sandcastle Requests

Based on the past number of season-pass vouchers that were never redeemed and the few trips that were made on those that were redeemed, we are taking a more fiscally responsible approach by purchasing Any Day tickets. Each family may request a total of three tickets per member for each calendar year. The requests must be made separately and only once a family has used their tickets from the previous request. Tickets are for immediate family members or guardians only. Please note in your justification letter the relationship for those you are requesting tickets for. Season passes to Kennywood or Sandcastle may still be requested but will only be approved for those families who have demonstrated frequent usage in the past, or new ones that provide a compelling or valid reason for the request. Requests for the 2024 season will be accepted starting April 22, 2024 – no season pass requests will be accepted after June 14, 2024. Please submit your completed request form and justification letter as usual; proof-of-cost and W-9 are not required.

Lessons, Sessions and Summer Camp

Each request is evaluated individually. Review does not guarantee approval.

If applicable, please refer to the Lessons/Sessions Policy and Guidelines(PDF, 136KB) or Summer Camp Guidelines(PDF, 93KB) documents.

Laptop and Other IT Requests

If applicable, please refer to the ACMFF Laptop Request Guidelines(PDF, 93KB) before submitting an IT request.

Submitting a Request

Requests must be made by a social service professional working for DHS, a DHS-contracted provider or Allegheny County Juvenile Probation on behalf of a child receiving services.

Please review these documents before starting the request process:

To help make sure you complete all the necessary steps, use:

Remember, each request must include:

ACMFF History

The Allegheny County Music Festival Fund (ACMFF) was established in 2000 by then-Family Court Judge Max Baer and DHS Director Marc Cherna, to aid children and youth receiving services through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services or the Juvenile Section of the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas. The fund creates a resource that pays for life-enriching opportunities and items that are not otherwise available through traditional government funding.

The ACMFF is totally dependent upon the generosity of county residents. For the first eight years, it was replenished using proceeds from a single, annual music concert, the Allegheny County Music Festival, hosted by Allegheny County at Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater. One of a series of free summer outdoor concerts, this special event suggests a donation-per-vehicle. Proceeds from a 50/50 raffle are also added to the fund. Headline performers are chosen in cooperation with the Allegheny County Special Events Office.

Beginning in 2008, an additional fundraiser was added, necessitated by the popularity of the fund among providers and children. Candidates' Comedy Night features candidates for national, state and local political offices taking the stage to perform for the gathered contributors.

The dissemination of ACMFF funds is overseen by the independent ACMFF Advisory Committee chaired by former DHS Deputy Director Karen Blumen. The committee consists of professionals from the public and private sectors of child welfare, juvenile justice, human services and the courts. Each member is knowledgeable and passionate about children's issues. Requests are submitted by a social services professional working with a child. This professional may work for DHS, a DHS-contracted provider of services for children and families or the juvenile justice system. Each request is reviewed individually on its merits by the Advisory Committee and is granted in full, granted in part or denied. Factors, such as family composition, income and the number of children living in the household, are considered.

Committee members include Ben Baer, Karen Blumen, Russell Carlino, Peter Davis, Brooke Goulde, Michele Makray, George Owens, Stephanie Pawlowski, Gary Scheimer and Cynthia Stoltz.

In 2012, the Music Festival Fund was honored as a "Bright Idea" by Harvard University's Ash Center for Democratic Governance & Innovation.


Please refer questions to the Event and Donations Assistant or 412-350-2768.

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