The great philosopher Tom Petty said it best: “The waiting is the hardest part.”
Just a day or so after I published the last episode of WWFF, I wrapped up the application paperwork to establish my non-profit, took it to the post office, and sent it to Austin. And then I waited.
It was a long three weeks. I’ve had so much to tell you, and the rest of the world, but I didn’t want to start talking about it until I had confirmation that it existed. To start sharing information prior to that felt unlucky. Like I would be jinxing something.
Ah, Superstition! It’s a big part of being a Jewish Mother. I’ve spent years trying to break myself of superstitious habits, and I’ve done pretty well. Black cats can cross my path at their pleasure, and I can open an umbrella indoors now without worrying about causing a cosmic rift. Still working on walking under a ladder. It’s a process.
So that’s why I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, discuss my non-profit except in very general terms. Only those closest to me knew more than just a hint about it. To have spoken of it publicly when it really only existed in my head felt wrong. I needed that piece of paper from the Secretary of State to validate it.
And last Friday, it was waiting in my mailbox.
And so now, without further ado, I want to introduce you to Music Feeds America!
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you probably already know the important role that music has played in my life, and specifically how one band in particular has fueled my journey. If you’re a new reader, I hope you’ll go back and give the archives a look. It won’t take you long to figure out the depth of my admiration for Foo Fighters.
The concept for Music Feeds America came from an amalgamation of ideas. Because of the Foos, I found myself on a path which led me back to graduate school, which then led me to the issue of hunger in America, which ultimately led me to the decision to do something to address that issue.
Also because of the Foos, I discovered the depth of love and devotion that a band can generate in their fans. I’ve talked about Foo Nation, or the Foo Fam, as it’s affectionately known, before. Lest you think I am the most fanatical Foo follower out there, let me assure you, there are many, many others, all over the world, who make me look like a slacker by comparison. And knowing that made me wonder.
If Foo Fighters had such devoted fans, wouldn’t it be likely that other bands and musicians had fans and followers who were equally devoted? And of course, the answer to that is yes.
For instance, some friends of mine, a couple, have two young sons, one named Vedder, and the other who’s middle name is Dylan. Both names were chosen because, hey, they’re cool names, but also because the music created by Eddie Vedder and Bob Dylan have been important and influential to both parents.
And, I have a workmate who is at least as devoted to Kid Rock as I am to the Foos. She’s seen him and his band in concert four times, and will be seeing him twice more in the next two weeks. She’s a fanatic, just like me. Different song, same degree of loyalty. It wasn’t just the music that was the draw for her. She appreciates his support of U.S. troops, and also his generosity to a number of other worthwhile causes. Kid Rock doesn’t get a lot of press about this, but that’s not what matters to him.
Musicians have supported a wide variety of social causes over the years. We’ve seen Farm Aid (turning 30 this year), Live Aid, the Global Citizen movement, and many others. Those programs and concerts have generated not only donations, but also a greater awareness of some very critical social issues that affect people around the world and here in the U.S.
So I began to wonder if anyone had ever started a project that would utilize music – the bands, the artists, and the fans who follow them – to raise money and educate people about the prevalence of hunger in America today. And I’m not going to say that nobody ever has, but I’ve been researching it, and I haven’t found anything that’s been done to address this issue just the way I would do it.
You know what they say. Sometimes, if you want a job done, you have to do it yourself.
Here’s a snippet of what I envision:
- Promotion through issue-specific, location-specific, band-specific concerts and food drives.
- Promotion through goodies and tchotchkes that music fanatics love to take home.
- Collaborative efforts with bands, musicians, promoters, and music industry associations.
- And about a thousand other ideas that I just haven’t come up with yet (but I will!)
We each have the power, the ability, to influence our society. Sometimes we just need a little nudge.
Nobody nudges better than a Jewish Mother. Music Feeds America is the vehicle I’m going to use to do the nudging.
I know this may be an uphill fight. And as I’ve said before, I can’t do this alone. But I’m willing to do the heavy lifting. I just need some assistance from you.
I’ve started a GoFundMe campaign to help me raise some start-up funds. If you click on this link, it will take you to my page, and you can toss a little money my way. No amount is too small. Anything you chip in will be put to good use, of that you can be sure.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more information, and you can expect to see a Facebook presence, a Twitter feed, a website, and a YouTube channel. At the moment, I’m mostly a one-woman show (although I’m seeing offers of help from lots of folks, which is much appreciated and deeply humbling!) Just be patient, and I promise it’s all going to come together. And when it does, I have a feeling it’s going to be epic.
And you’re going to be glad you had a hand in it.