Mythbusters TV Show Star Calls For More Funding for Music in Tampa Bay Times Interview May 21, 2015 – Adam Savage, star of one of my favorite TV shows Mythbusters, was giving an interview to Sharon Kennedy Wynee of the Tampa Bay Times and was commenting on STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) and school tests,…
August 8, 2013 – Today.com has a cool article out on the "Ten Best Sesame Street Musical Guests", and lists musicians from Paul Simon to Yo Yo Ma. I grew up on Sesame Street, and remember many musicians coming on and helping guide kids with music to good values and bettering the community. JTMP urges our supporters to contact their elected officials and ask them to protect and even increase funding for the arts and public television. Even though he was never on Sesame Street, John Denver had a very close relationship with The Muppets on The Muppet Show, and was a great musician and musical activist. Watch John Denver sing "Grandma's Feather Bed" with The Muppets below from dteeps42 on YouTube, and check out the article with videos of the Sesame Street musical guests on Today.com here. (Photo credit: Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets by Alan Light/CC)
DEC 2, 2012 – The greatest guitar player alive and currently playing (IMHO) Buddy Guy, along with Led Zeppelin, were honored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this week and President Barack Obama was there citing the importance of arts in society saying, "[they] inspired us to see things in a new way, to hear things differently, to discover something within us or to appreciate how much beauty there is in the world. It's that unique power that makes the arts so important." JTMP supports keeping funding for the arts in this time of talks of "austerity", and ask our supporters to contact your elected representatives and tell them to defend funding for the arts. Read the AP story here. (photo credit: CC/Tom Beetz)
Watch the clip of Obama speaking below, and below that watch the Guitar Titan Buddy Guy play at the White House back in February of 2012.
June 18, 2012 – Deana Carter played a benefit concert for the Les Paul Kids Rock Free charity at the Fender Guitar Museum in Corona, California, and sang some of her best songs to help them out in their quest to get musical instruments and lessons to as many children as possible. This is very important especially since funding for the music and arts in public schools is being attacked and cut, so children really need our help.
The show was put on by the Fender Center for the Performing Arts Foundation which was founded in 1997 to get music to kids ranging from 7 to 17. In 2002 they expanded and purchased a 33,000 square foot facility, with a museum detailing the 50-year history of the Fender guitar. Steve Miller is now heavily involved with the charity, and you can watch Steve in a PSA below. Their site offers dismal news, saying that only 32% of the elementary schools offer any arts education to their students. JTMP supports their efforts, and calls on congress to enact more funding for the music and arts in public schools. To learn more about the Fender Center for the Performing Arts, check out their website here.
Here is Steve Miller lending his time for a PSA , and performances by Deana Carter of her 2 great hits, "Strawberry Wine" and "Count Me In", with her PSA for the charity.
JTMP Meets With International Visitors through State Department International Visitor Leadership Program
MAY 24, 2012 – JTMP has been a participant in the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program for 3 years now, where citizens from around the world involved in the arts get to come to America and visit to learn about the role of arts in the US. This year we had visitors that came from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia to see how Justice Through Music Project uses art to raise awareness on issues, and to bring about social change. This year's contingent had musicians, playwrights, and people involved in art production. We gave them a presentation and showed them many of our musical art videos that deal with politics and issues, while we spoke about how we operate and produce our art videos. We then showed them how we use this art on our website and YouTube channel to raise awareness on an issue to help bring about positive social change.
The program also hopes to spur and support cross-cultural dialogue, and we experienced a great debate and discussion with the group. We even had one person ask us if the US government interfered with our free speech, which of course we explained as long as its peaceful and legal, a free society must have the free flow of thoughts and ideas, and no restrictions on expressions of art. We even had a great discussion on the role of the US interfering or getting involved in foreign countries, which there were many different opinions, but that was good. We showed them how a free society respects different opinions and solves things peacefully. We talked about how JTMP thinks the best way to bring about peace and social change in a country is for those citizens to be educated and informed, and have a free flow of opinions and dialogue, and be free to set up peaceful democracies. We explained how we feel art plays a big role in democracies, as they are the canaries in the coal mine, and can speak out about issues in unique way and sometimes see or sense problems such as civil rights issues in society before others do.
We chatted after our presentation, and answered many questions, as they were all curious about life in America, our freedoms, and how art plays a role. All of them come from emerging democracies, and most were from the Arab Spring countries setting up democracies for the first time and holding their first free elections, such as Egypt did today. We took photos, and even had the Tunisian guitarist play a few jazz riffs, and promised to stay in touch and continue to network using the Internet and work together on our shared social, political, and cultural goals.
For more information on the US State Department's International Visitor Leadership program, go to: http://exchanges.state.gov/ivlp/
DEC 1, 2011 – D-Pan, an organization that is dedicated to professional development and access to the entertainment, visual and media arts fields for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, have released a video of children signing to the White Stripes "We're Going To Be Friends" song. On their website they say, "We believe that our current initiatives – as well as those we will be launching in the near future – will be beneficial to the deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities alike." Watch the video below, and check out their website here.
JTMP has been attending the TBAD 2011 Conference, and one of the events was a poetry slam performance by someone from “Youth Speaks”, an organization that “places young people in control of their intellectual and artistic development.” They are driven by the belief that “literacy is a need, not a want, and that literacy comes in various forms.” They want young people to find, nurture, and use their spoken voice performance to be creators of social change.
The performance consisted of 2 poems, both speaking out about young people, education, students, and funding for music and arts in education. The artist, Jamaal Hall, electrified the crowd with his awesome performance. For more information you can check out the Youth Speaks website. Watch the performance below.
Entertainers Ashanti, Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo, along with other celebrities such as Ron Howard and Denzel Washington, appear in a PSA asking for support of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, showing how young people, especially minorities, need places to go such as music schools and libraries. Ron Howard directed the PSA, which launches the "Great Futures Start Here" campaign, and you can watch it below.
Oakland's Museum Of Children's Art's Epic, Shameful Fail
Photo credits: mecaforpeace.org
We here at Justice Through Music Project, a national non-profit that focuses on the impact of art and music on young people around the world, strongly condemn the September 8th decision by the Oakland, California Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) to cancel a planned exhibit of art created by children of Gaza during the last war in Gaza. More than 250 children were killed and more than 1000 were injured during that three week war.
"In dictatorships, art is censored because authorities do not want the population to see the truth," said JTM Director Brett Kimberlin. "And now, here in the land of the free, thugs masquerading as activists, have forced MOCHA to buckle to keep art, as seen from the eyes of children, from being shared with the public. These children, who have no political or religious agenda, innocently expressed themselves in very poignant ways yet they have been censored by those with an agenda because they don't like what the children portrayed. While it is antithetical to a free society to censor such works, it is shameful that a museum that professes to exhibit children's art would cower under pressure from a handful of belligerents who gleefully cheered when the exhibit was cancelled. We urge MOCHA to fire all those board members who voted to cancel the exhibit and to establish strong written standards prohibiting censorship of and outside influence on future exhibits."
JTM works with artists around the world to express themselves through their art, and to challenge injustice and abuse of power wherever it arises.