I hope all of November is this good.
The Art of Giving
This Saturday I will join some of my favorite artists in Philadelphia in the No Name Art Group‘s Art of Giving exhibit and fundraiser at B Square Gallery. The opening will be a warm mix of wine and charity, with artists’ work printed on wine bottles donated by local wineries, and all proceeds benefitting Philabundance.
Why Philabundance? Because Philabundance is the Philadelphia area’s largest hunger relief charity, and much of Philadelphia is starving due to poverty and suffering from malnutrition. From the website:
Food poverty—the lack of access to nutritious, affordable food—is present in every community. From children and seniors to the increasing number of working poor, hunger affects close to a million individuals throughout the Delaware Valley. Philabundance provides food to approximately 65,000 people per week through our direct services and network of 500 member agencies including emergency food kitchens, food cupboards, senior centers, and more. We serve low income residents at risk of hunger and malnutrition, of which 23% are children and 16% are senior citizens. These services are accessed by vulnerable populations such as those with disabilities or suffering from mental illness, as well as families slipping through the hunger safety net. The Federal Poverty Line formula disregards the qualifying poor who receive food stamps but live above the poverty line. It also doesn’t acknowledge the working poor who make too much to collect welfare, but are unable to make ends meet, in spite of being part of the workforce.
In response to these challenges, Philabundance has taken a strong hold of the hunger issue in the Delaware Valley. By collaborating with the food industry and others committed to ending hunger, we are able to reach more people than ever before, with the goal to make nutritious food accessible to all.
Please read these articles about hunger in Philadelphia:
Your help is needed. If you can’t make the Art of Giving opening, please give Philabundance a direct donation of money or canned goods. You know you have a can of something in that pantry that you’ll never eat.
“‘Stage invasions aren’t supposed to be this cute. As sprightly folk-popsters The Leisure Society launch into their second number, a two-year-old wobbles up to the front of the stage, making it to the edge before he’s whisked off by his mother to a murmur of aahs.’
James Medd of Word interviewed SMTS co-producer and art director Kate Garchinsky and attended the show on May 15 with his two sons. Read his account of the festivities, and learn more about the Kindie movement in children’s music.”
“Stage invasions aren’t supposed to be this cute. As sprightly folk-popsters The Leisure Society launch into their second number, a two-year-old wobbles up to the front of the stage, making it to the edge before he’s whisked off by his mother to a murmur of aahs.”
James Medd of Word interviewed SMTS co-producer and art director Kate Garchinsky and attended the show on May 15 with his two sons. Read his account of the festivities, and learn more about the Kindie movement in children’s music.
You would think from the lack of activity on my own website that I’ve been lying around in my pajamas, daydreaming to sweet tunes, doodling and enjoying tea and crimpets.
That, my friends, is precisely what I’ve been doing.
(Ok well, sort of.)
My big fat project of 2009-2010 has been a CD of lullabies for children and music-appreciating not-so-grown-ups. Once a figment of an idea itching my brain, now full-blown reality, for the past 16 months “indie lullabies” have been my life. On May 15 The Line of Best Fit, Arctic Circle and American Laundromat Records celebrated the album’s release in London at a hugely successful Daylight Pyjama Party at Union Chapel with The Leisure Society and The Real Tuesday Weld performing. The event was covered in Word mag, and scores of blogs have made favorable mention of the album over the past 3 months.
Nine songs from the CD are now being played on rotation on Starbucks radio in locations spanning the globe. Kind of mind-boggling—when in London one cannot turn a corner without spotting a Starbucks. Scary, really. But anyway… I’m pretty proud of it. Can you tell?
The fantastic part about all this is that the CD is a charity album, and all sales go to a great cause. The Valerie Fund has been supporting the comprehensive treatment of children with cancer and blood disorders for over 30 years. But as a small, independent non-profit, the fund operates on a skeleton staff with fully tapped, limited resources. Non-profits such as these struggle in the same way small businesses do during times of recession, and their work is insurmountably important. The last charity compilation American Laundromat Records produced has raised over $30,000 for Casting for Recovery, and I hope that we will, at the very least, quadruple that success with “Sing Me to Sleep” and help The Valerie Fund thrive rather than survive. Each year thousands of children and their families rely on their support and care in specialty centers in hospitals across densely populated New York and New Jersey.
There’s tons more info I would love to share with you now, but I have to go return some shoes, deposit a check, and pack my bags for the weekend because Sunday is the BIG DAY, Release Party the Second, at Joe’s Pub in New York City. Come, bring your kids. Yes, even the screaming runny little ones. The event is designed specifically to delight and engage ornery minds with beauty, art and music. Plus the face-painter is one of the best in the city, and you know I am all over that.
Once this event is through, it’s back to the creative board—I have plenty of new ideas itching my brains. More on that later.
Long time no update—so it goes when you’re this busy. If you’re a friend on Facebook or Twitter you already know what I’m talking about. Sing Me to Sleep – Indie Lullabies is at last a reality. A real, tangible, physical piece of art and music that was once just a figment of my imagination. The album officially releases worldwide on May 18, but pre-orders began shipping 2 weeks ago.
Let the parties begin.
Release Party the First. London.
Next week we will celebrate the CD’s official release with a Daylight Pyjama Party, presented by Arctic Circle, American Laundromat Records and Union Chapel in London. That’s right, far across the sea in a quaint little church. Not only that, but England’s darlings The Leisure Society, and antique beat setters The Real Tuesday Weld will perform their lullabies from the album, alongside original material. AND it’s free. FREE! And you can bring your kids. In fact, please do. And dress them in their jammies, because it is, after all, a lullaby CD and a pyjama party (that’s how they spell it over there in the old world. Or so they tell me).
Very heartfelt thanks to my very good friends at The Line of Best Fit whose enthusiasm for this project has made the entire event possible. Great music blog. Go read it for days.
Release Party the Second. New York.
So as if that’s not enough. On Sunday, June 13, the legendary Tanya Donelly, the lovely Jenny Owen Youngs and the fearless Julie Peel will perform another all-ages matinée at Joe’s Pub in New York City. You may remember Tanya from 90’s chart-toppers, Belly. Or from the earlier days of the Breeders. Or Throwing Muses. Tanya has enjoyed a solo career since all these, and her cover of “Moon River” is a delightfully soft representation of her singer/songwriter work.
Again, kids are welcome to attend in their pajamas, and if they do, they leave with a little prize.
Representatives and friends of our charity, The Valerie Fund, will be in attendance at both events.
And so will I. With bells on.
But do I dare show up in my pjs?