Music is powerful. It can be a teacher, a healer, a pick-me-up, a muse, an energizer. It can bring joy and peace. And, for children, especially those who may be in less-than-ideal circumstances beyond their control, music can provide solace, focus, and a feeling of accomplishment that they may not be able to get elsewhere.
I am asking you to consider supporting two charity organizations, each of which was founded by dear friends of mine. Each organization is focused on providing music and musical education to children, but in far different ways. Please read on to learn more.
Music Across Borders
Music Across Borders was founded by my friends Nick and Lindsey Jarrett here in Kansas City. Music Across Borders is a 501(c)(3) organization that sprang from the success of their pilot project, Strings for Uganda, where violins were provided to the children in an orphanage in Uganda, in partnership with a nearby school where the children received musical education. Music Across Borders aims to expand beyond the single partnership of Strings for Uganda, and provide musical instruments and education to other places where the children would otherwise have very little, if any, opportunity for learning musical performance. You can learn more about their projects, mission, and the good folks who serve on their board. And it's easy to support Music Across Borders via a donation on their website.
Music Across Borders is a brand new charitable organization, formed just this year (2018), but I am certain that they will succeed. I can barely imagine how the children respond to being able to learn and play a musical instrument.
Donate to Music Across Borders
Song Rise Arts
Song Rise Arts is also a brand new nonprofit organization, created in 2018 by Kelley McRae. Kelly is a singer-songwriter who, along with her husband Matt, sold their Brooklyn apartment back in 2011 and hit the road in their VW van, touring the US non-stop, playing house concerts, bars, and venues of all sizes - pretty much anywhere they could get a gig. I met Kelley when I booked her for a living room concert at my place, through internet contact only. I didn't meet Kelley until she and Matt rang our doorbell before the show. We've been friends ever since, and I've followed their musical careers which have led them across the USA a few more times as well as a couple tours in Europe. Kelley and Matt have settled down now in the Austin, TX area, and devoted themselves to their music, songwriting, and teaching.
Song Rise Arts grew from Kelley's love of sharing her songwriting gifts with others, especially those who may not have the privilege of this kind of education. Song Rise Arts' mission statement begins with "to provide low-income and underserved youth with music education, mentorship and professional performance experience."
The wonderful programs Song Rise Arts provides are free songwriting workshops, in partnership with other Austin-area nonprofits, for LGBTQ+ youth, refugee girls and foster kids, and the Young Artist Program, where they will provide ten students with free songwriting classes, individual instruction and mentorship with professional Austin musicians.
Donate to Song Rise Arts
Song Rise Arts Facebook page
If you've enjoyed Merry & Bright during this Christmas season, or are a long time visitor here, please consider supporting one or both of these great organizations. I love their missions and their passion of reaching children through music. Click their 'donate' links and send them $25, $10, $5, or whatever you can afford. I truly appreciate your support and thank you for any gifts you can send to Song Rise Arts and Music Across Borders.