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Bring The Music Initiative

That damn song is haunting me again. It is in the back of my head filling all the spaces making room for nothing else. Music works its way inside of people and leaves a lasting impression – time and time again. Music marks a permanent place inside of me with very specific visuals and crystal clear memories tied to each song. My life without music, without song, is not my life at all…..

After football and wine tasting and hanging with good friends all day on the Sunday before last – I went home and did the power nap – shower – regrouping thing – and got my ass into the city. I wandered into Club 162 around 7pm to find a room full of energy. The performers were getting their equipment in place and instruments tuned while the audience mulled around drinking and talking and anticipating all the music that was about to come our way. The event on this night was about raising money to help fund “Bring the Music Initiative”. This unique initiative strives to empower under privileged youth through providing positive role models and music as a constructive outlet.

Missy Webber

I heard about this event through a woman who makes her living advocating for children and the rights they are entitled to. Missy Webber is a positive force in this world who makes a living in the big city legal world and plays her guitar with a smile and a passion that simply cannot be ignored. In her own words, “Man, I loved music ever since I can remember…it seemed so powerful and magical. Music is my escape and savior. Music gives me hope. You can change your mood, change your day, and change your mind with a simple change of song.”

Missy got the idea for BTMI when she was at the home of one of her many clients and some of the kids asked to see her guitar (that she just happened to have along for the ride!) She realized how influential and universal music can be and that DCFS kids just might benefit from a music program. Missy has seen some tangible results- even in these early days of the program. Kids that were troubled or hard to handle in the class room are focused and well behaved during lesson time. Their confidence grows and their smiles show more frequently. Some kids have actually raised their failing grades to passing grades – because Missy lets them know – poor grades mean no guitar lessons. The power of music becomes evident day after day in the changes that are becoming apparent in these children Missy works with.

BTMI needs financial support to buy instruments and related equipment for classes, and to provide transportation for the kids to get to those classes. Making a difference in the lives of the children in our city is an amazing and commendable mission which Bring the Music Initiative is striving to accomplish. Missy believes the influence of the lesbian community on the success of this initiative can be great. “I have already seen that our community can come together and is capable of great things and together we can take Bring the Music Initiative as far as our resources allows us. If I have my way – BTMI will be in every city across this country and providing music classes that foster kids are interested in.”

Missy had the great fortune of working with Jackie Rada, Maggie Mitchell and Sarah Buchanon to bring together the talents of Jenny Dragon, Girlband, Sami Grisafe with Shannon Nicole (hello angel voice) and Evan Ryan, as well as Fire City Limits to fill Club 162 with some crazy good music. In between the sets audience members were encouraged to come on stage and show case their own unique musical gifts. This shows so clearly to me how music can bring strangers together – in more ways than the obvious. It proves, ever so subtly, how music really is a universal language and truly does heal us in so many ways.

Check your social calendars my friends. Come outside and leave your snuggie on the couch – there is a great big crazy world out here that needs some attention. And there are kids – with very little to call their own – at the turning point in their young lives – who – with the help of people like Missy Webber – will have the music to help them through the troubled times.

If you are interested in learning more you can email Missy at mjwebber13@gmail.com. If you wish to donate some cash-o-la – please visit the website and drop some change in the jar. www.bringthemusic.com.

*BIG SHOUT OUT needs to go to Jackie Rada, Maggie Mitchell and Sarah Buchanon for being the machine behind Jam for the Cause.  They grabbed the venue, booked the bands and marketed the event to insure its success*

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About K. Guzman

Kathy grew up all over the US – lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.

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