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Music! Dancing! All for the Children…

MusicInitiativeHaving recently transitioned from a job in very direct service of Chicago youth, I am painfully aware now of how easy it is in our busy adult lives to forget that there are young people in this city.  Sometimes they’re on the train with me, or at a park I walk by occasionally, but they are largely absent from my consciousness most days, and I actually kind of miss them.  What is not absent in my life is a consistent connection to people and organizations doing good, important work with youth in Chicago.  If you happen not to have such connections to the largely underserved, always resilient, and ever-challenging world of Chicago youth, I have two words for you: KEEP READING.

The Bring the Music Initiative gives foster youth in Chicago a chance to build confidence, to interact with their peers in a positive setting, and to learn from role models in their community.Nearly 10,000 foster youth in Cook County have no opportunity to participate in music classes or learn to play instruments. Through the BTMI program, foster youth ages 10-20 choose from a variety of after school music classes and are given the instrument and all necessary materials for free.  The classes are taught by volunteer community musicians, with an impressively low teacher to student ratio (1:1 or 1:2) so as to give each foster youth the attention and support that they deserve.  Youth who attend 6 of the 8 classes earn the right to keep their instruments indefinitely.

I know. Amazing. Like why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?! amazing.  So by now you MUST be thinking: “Wow, Stacy! What an amazing organization! Can I get involved?! And how great of you to open my eyes to such an incredible opportunity! You’ve shown me so much! You’re great! We should go out sometime!”

MusicFlyerI know, I know.

…I mean thank you, ladies. Please, hold your applause. This is not about me – it’s about the children.

And YES! Yes you CAN get involved!  BTMI just happens to be having a fundraiser coming up! And YOU ARE INVITED!

What: Bring the Music Initiative Fundraiser featuring Amy Kelly Band, The Student Body, and Hot Mess, along with a performance from BTMI foster youth, and a special guest speaker from the foster care system! The night will include a silent auction, unlimited appetizers and two drink tickets.

When: August 11th, 2013 from 4pm-7pm

Where: Uncommon Ground (1401 West Devon Avenue)

Buy your tickets here to ensure you don’t miss this event!  They are available at the door as well, for $5 more (if they don’t sell out first!)

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About Stacy

Born and raised in rural Nebraska, Stacy migrated to Chicago in 2008 to begin her career in education. After four years of teaching high school English in the Englewood and Aburn Gresham neighborhoods of Chicago's Southside, she has since shifted her focus to more creative pursuits, returning to her first loves: interior design and poetry. Though she spends more time at poetry readings now than in classrooms, she can't seem to tear herself away completely, facilitating training and professional development for schools on LGBTQ issues in the classroom and providing interior design services for improving educational environments. She loves traveling, everything nature, crafting, casseroles, reading, and you. She definitely loves you.

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