The non-profit Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF) has announced its annual PFC Day on Saturday, Sept. 15, with this year’s main events taking place in Brazil’s São Paulo and Curitiba, Ibiza, Spain, Diamante, Argentina, Los Angeles, California and Mexico City, Mexico. As in past years, simultaneous musical events will occur worldwide, with proceeds benefiting music and arts education programs in 11 countries. Each week more than 2,000 young people attend free classes in dance, vocals, instrument instruction, languages and musical theory, all taught by qualified, local teachers. Our fifteen music schools and programs are located in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa and Thailand. The PFC Foundation also works with partners to help meet basic needs in these communities, which are home to some of the world’s most economically vulnerable children. This work includes providing primary education, and humanitarian aid such as clean water, solar power, medicine, books, supplies, tools, and training. To date, the lives of more than 20,000 children and community members have been improved through music education and development efforts of the Playing For Change Foundation and educational performances through the Playing for Change musicians. We recently launched our pilot program: Sister Schools For Change (SSFC), connecting youth in the United States with our international students. By introducing music and arts education into their lives, PFCF aims to resolve conflict, raise self-esteem, advance in the development of the whole child, as well as enhance and empower the communities in which it serves.
Says PFC's co-founder Whitney Kroenke, “We're grateful that every year people around the world unite to create events big and small that improve the lives of so many children around the globe. We welcome everyone to join us on PFC Day September 15 and help us bring the magic of music into the lives of so many deserving young people.”
This year’s celebration is expected to expand beyond 60 countries with over 400 events worldwide. Past PFC Day festivals have attracted some of each participating country’s best and emerging talent, with physical and online audiences comprised of many thousands. This year we will be live on multiple platforms bringing as many of the events to the world as possible. We are seeking to raise $250,000 this year.
Playing For Change Day was launched in 2011, its mission being to “unite a global community through the power of music to effect positive social change.” By 2012, PFC Day grassroots events raised over $150,000 from 330 events in 52 countries, with those numbers growing in the following two years to 400 events in 60 countries. Past U.S. participation and creative contributions have come through PFC-related events ranging from small drum circles in rural areas to the ‘We Are One’ concert featuring superstar acts such as The Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, and Nahko (of Nahko & Medicine For The People). Prior PFC Day celebrations have also included Sarah Bareilles’ September 2012 StageIt concert, as well as an event held on Cali Love Day featuring a 30-piece jazz band appearing at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, whose tribute to Dr. Dre saw the artist join the band onstage. There was also a Whiskey A Go Go concert that spotlighted performances by Keb’ Mo’, The Doors’ John Densmore, Papa Fish, Rocky Dawuni, Mohammed Alidu, and the PFC Band.
Rick Van Der Mark, an Ibiza resident involved with numerous Playing for Change events across the globe says, “I have been lucky to enjoy Playing For Change Day festivals in many countries. I had a vision of bringing these experiences together, and in 2015, that vision came true. Working with a local community group, amazing volunteers, Town Hall officials, sponsors and local businesses, we will host the annual IBIZA Playing For Change Day on one of Ibiza, Spain’s stunning beaches at Cala Llonga, on Sunday, September 23, 2018. ‘Working together to help others while having fun’ is our motto and through the generosity of people each year, we raise over $10,000 for PFC Foundation programs. The day is enjoyed by over 8,000 people. For 12 hours on four stages, over 35 bands will provide a diverse range of music, while children’s artists entertain children from midday to dusk, and visitors and local residents sample a wide range of tasty international cuisine. For the first time, this year local children will join some of the musicians on stage, and we are excited to announce the performance of ‘What About The Children,’ written especially by musician Paul Powell of HOT ICE for PFC Day Ibiza.”
In addition, New York City-based Motéma Music is sponsoring an associated CD release with the PFC Band as well as eclectic, award-winning luminaries including the Doobie Brothers, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Jack Johnson and Warren Haynes, entitled Listen to the Music, available now. Order your copy here. All profits go to the Playing For Change Foundation. The ‘Songs Around the World’ video series for each song on the album is released monthly, culminating on #PFCDay2018 on Saturday, Sept. 15.
The Playing For Change Foundation, established in 2007, provides music education in areas that are culturally rich yet economically challenged. Children in countries around the world (see below), from Africa to Latin America to Southeast Asia, attend free classes in music, dance and languages, taught by qualified local music teachers and led by regional administrators. Students learn about their own cultural traditions while employing technology to connect and share their experiences with others around the world. Donate today: playingforchangeday.org/.
- Imvula Music Program - Gugulethu, South Africa
- Bizung Music and Dance School - Tamale, Ghana
- Udayapur Nepal Music Program - Udayapur, Nepal
- Ecole de Musique de Kirina - Kirina, Mali
- Tine Village Mother's Society - Tintale, Nepal
- Star School Music Program - Kigali, Rwanda
- Mitrata Nepal Village Music Program - Kathmandu, Nepal
- Musica Music Program - Kathmandu, Nepal
- Khlong Toey Music Program - Bangkock, Thailand
- Cajuru Music Program - Curitiba, Brazil
- Mirpur Music Program - Dhaka, Bangladesh