Imagine being diagnosed with cancer or another life threatening disease. Sometimes the treatment is worse then the disease itself. Constant pain, the inability to eat regular meals, the immense stress and the subsequent toll it takes on you and your loved ones...Now imagine it happening to a young child.
Arts For Life is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting these young patients and their families facing serious and often life threatening illnesses. The support comes in the form of educational art programs to feed the mind and the spirit, the total person and their supporting families to encourage a positive health care experience. For many, music is an escape in the same way a good book or fine film may be to others. Music also has the power to heal, to touch the places deep within the soul that traditional medicine can not reach. I am currently fighting a serious illness and have had two major set backs, art in general and jazz in particular has kept me going so I was deeply touched to have the chance to write about this release which will be available on 09/25/12. The link to the organizations web site will be included at the bottom of this piece so that you can contact them for more information should advanced orders be possible or to simply learn more about this most worthy cause.
The release itself is a CD of music with a booklet of lyrics and artwork which features the poetry and art of the children and teenagers helped by this most inspiring endeavor. The genesis for this project began in 2009 when Sunnyside artist Beccca Stevens sang at an AFL fundraiser. An idea was born to set some of the children's poetry to music for the event and the subsequent success began discussions which have led to the release My Life Is Bold.
The price of this very special disc is $15 which is actually a donation since all proceeds of course go to maintaining this incredibly important program which is based in North Carolina. Just some of the amazing talent included on this disc include Becca Stevens, Taylor Eigsti, Kate McGarry, and Harish Raghavan. The set list? Not your typical jazz set list of course but songs of whimsy, joy, and at times silliness allowing everyone the opportunity to be a child again.
The best possible "review' might come from Arts For Life Fellow Colin Allured who describes his job as "growing happy cells" where cancer cells used to be.
I was touched by the work of this organization as I read their web site. If you have a young family member facing this kind of obstacles or perhaps know of a friend or neighbor that god forbid is facing this type of situation in their daily life then I would gratefully appreciate your support in passing this information along.
For more and complete information contact: