Our thoughts are with all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Over the next year, Sing for Hope will be working with Houston-area artists to provide dynamic arts outreach programs in shelters and relief sites. Additionally, Sing for Hope will be providing small grants from our Artist Emergency Fund for artists in the Houston area, asking only that participating artists “pay it forward” by sharing their talent with those in need over the course of the next year.
“Sing for Hope traces its roots to Houston. When the promising young tenor Frank Logan passed away at Houston’s Omega House AIDS Hospice, a group of friends came together to sing for life, for hope, for a cure,” says Sing for Hope Co-Founder Camille Zamora, who graduated from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
Continues Sing for Hope Co-Founder Monica Yunus: “As students at Juilliard, Camille and I continued to envision a go-to resource for arts service, uniting artists and communities in transformative ways. Today, our NYC-based organization serves countless New Yorkers and others across the country, but in many ways, our ethos is based on our early artist/charity partnership model pioneered in Houston.”
Established as an independent nonprofit in New York City in 2006, today Sing for Hope is an “artist peace corps” mobilizing artists in dynamic arts outreach programs in under-resourced schools, public hospitals, hospices, veterans’ centers, after-school programs, neighborhood centers, nursing homes, and disability networks. To date, Sing for Hope has partnered with over 250 nonprofit organizations, involved over 3,500 artists in community volunteerism, and placed over 400 artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos throughout NYC’s parks and public spaces for everyone to play – a symbol and celebration of art for all. Sing for Hope is grounded in the belief that the arts have a unique power to uplift, unite, and transform individuals and communities. We envision a world in which creativity is leveraged to facilitate healing and address society’s areas of greatest need.
Over the past 9 months, Sing for Hope has been developing a toolkit to facilitate national and international replication of our best-in-class model of artist-powered social change. With the guidance of our board member and Coda Societies Founder Garance Choko, we identified three US cities — Los Angeles, Houston, and Pittsburgh — and established contacts in each city to work with us over the next year in piloting the test of our Sing for Hope Toolkit.
In response to the current crisis in Houston, we are accelerating our timeline to immediately begin mobilizing artists in the Houston community to serve as a source of joy, resilience, and healing for the thousands of people whose lives have been uprooted due to Hurricane Harvey.
Sing for Hope Houston will be led by Mezzo-Soprano Abby Powell, (MM 2004, BM 2002, The Juilliard School), a Houston native and HSPVA grad who has previously worked with Sing for Hope in New York as Project Leader at Bailey-Holt House AIDS care facility and at Coler Hospital, an extended care public hospital serving patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Joining Abby as Co-Project Leader will be long-time Sing for Hope Artist Partner Ty Lerman.
The arts inspire resilience, unity, and hope where they are needed most. Help make the arts, and Houston’s rich community of world-class artists, part of the rebuilding of this great American city.
To join Abby as a Sing for Hope Artist Parter in Houston, please email email@example.com.
To make a special earmarked contribution to support Sing for Hope Houston, please click here.
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Sing for Hope Artist Partners performing at Hurricane Sandy relief shelters in Queens in 2012.
Our friends at The Actors Fund and AGMA may have additional emergency funds available for storm-affected artists.