Senator Monning Names ‘Guitars Not Guns’ of Monterey County as Nonprofit of the Year

June 28, 2017

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The Monterey County Chapter of “Guitars Not Guns” was honored today as the 17th Senate District Nonprofit of the Year by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel).  Guitars Not Guns is an all-volunteer nonprofit that provides guitars free of charge to children and teens, along with lessons, to encourage creativity, personal growth and help direct students away from harmful influences, such as drugs, alcohol, and gang activities.

“The Monterey County Chapter of ‘Guitars Not Guns’ has shown enormous dedication to the betterment of youth in the County,” Senator Monning said.  “The nonprofit operates out of 10 facilities and over the past eight years has donated 1,460 guitars.  I applaud its success and selfless work to help young people channel their creativity and teach them perseverance and discipline, while improving their self-esteem.  Thank you to everyone at the ‘Guitars Not Guns’ in Monterey County for helping to create a stronger community through the arts and music.”

Founded in 2009, the Monterey County Chapter of Guitars Not Guns was established to provide alternatives to gang violence for at-risk youth in the community.  Local youth ages 8 to 18 are given guitar lessons in classes with low teacher-to-student ratios and those who complete the full 8-week program are allowed to keep the guitar and are encouraged to return for Level 2 classes.  Classes are held in towns throughout Monterey County, including in Salinas, Seaside, Marina, and Castroville, and students regularly perform in the County at events such as the West End Celebration, First Night Monterey, and Good Old Days.

The Monterey County Chapter of “Guitars Not Guns” was honored at the annual California Nonprofits Day celebration in Sacramento to recognize exceptional nonprofits statewide.

For more information about the Monterey County Chapter of Guitars Not Guns, visit its website at:



Contact: Elizabeth Stitt, (916) 651-4017