Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 2009

What an amazing year it has been for The After The Storm Foundation.

As many of you know, Hilla Medalia's film (AFTER THE STORM) premiered at The LA Film Festival in June, and it has already won several of awards including the Audience Favorite Award at The Woodstock Film Festival and at The Heartland Festival. Hilla also won a Crystal Heart Award for best Documentary feature at Heartland. Hawaii was a major stop on our film tour, especially because it was the first place we were able to screen the film for a theater full of kids, ages 8 to 18 (and the scenery wasn't bad either.) Our next scheduled screening is at The Windrider Forum, which is part of The Sundance Film Festival on January 30th if you happen to be in Park City, Utah. We also have a NYC screening at the JCC Manhattan on March 2nd.

Keeping the doors of the North Rampart Community Center open is the primary goal of The Foundation. Thanks to the efforts of the wonderful Deaconess, Joanne Finley, and the dedication of Coach Parker as well as the entire board of North Rampart Community Center (formerly St. Mark's), the kids in the neighborhood continue to have a safe and creative place to go after school.

Randy Redd has also been doing his part. He organized two very successful benefit performances this year at Joe's Pub in NYC to raise money for the Center. Singer/songwriters came together to celebrate New Orleans. This past Monday, December 7th, Randy Redd presented We Are The Song 2, a second helping of extraordinary new music at Joe's Pub to benefit North Rampart Community Center. This concert featured new songs by songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Chris Miller, Sam Willmott, Rob Rokicki, Jason Loffredo, David Sisco and Tom Gualtieri, Michael Walker and Kyle Ewalt, Barbara Anselmi and Ken Clifton. Save the date for the next Song/Storm concert. On Monday, February 15th, during Mardi Gras, We Are The Song 3: After The Storm will be presented at Symphony Space in New York City and will feature all new songs.

Not only did this concert raise money for NRCC but also raised awareness and introduced even more New York City singers, songwriters and musicians to The After The Storm Foundation and the new We Are The Song Songwriting Workshops. Thanks to a generous contribution from Freddie and Myrna Gershon and, Music Theater International, our first Song/Storm workshop will be held January 15-17 in New Orleans. During this 3-day workshop, local students (ages 13-18) will learn how a song is created from start to finish. Through games, singing, discussion, and exercises led by professional singers, songwriters and Broadway teaching artist, students will explore the components of basic songwriting: rhythm, rhyme, song structure, lyrics, and melody. After an introduction to songwriting basics, students will listen to a variety of well-known songs examining point of view, melody, lyrics, structure and arrangement. Then, using these tools students will write an original song of their own. This workshop is not about writing a hit song. In fact, no prior songwriting experience or musical training is necessary in order to participate. Students will be encouraged to share ideas, express themselves and tell stories thru songwriting. The students will also discuss individuality and community and how they might be able to express their individuality through song.

Stay tuned for more in the coming year.

We can't do it without you.