There is nothing as powerful as an artist’s voice when it comes to “doing good”.

Artists inspire others to dig deep inside and find parts of themselves they didn’t know exist. Artists stand as the inspiration and hope for so many across the globe.

It’s the responsibility of an artist and their team to find ways to “do good”.

Over the past few months, Grace VanderWaal has done a lot of good.

She donated funds to start a local school choir that didn’t have one. Fender sent ukuleles to the students who had never owned instruments before.

This month, she went on a mission with the Starkey hearing foundation to give hearing aids to deaf children in Africa.

Earlier today, she performed for disadvantaged youth as part of MSG’s Garden of Dreams benefit concert at the legendary Beacon Theatre.

Most artists are passionate about finding ways to do good, but it’s the one that go out of their way to make it happen on a consistent basis who lead the example for the rest of us.


One Comment

March 24, 2018 3:13 pm

Greetings to Jake Udell and all the VanderWaal team.

Yes, this is unsolicited advice from a fan about how to do your job, but it still may be of some use – if only to encourage you in a direction you are already going.

Building on Grace’s urge to use her music to help the world become a better place, could you help her interview musicians about how they use music to help other people? As you travel around the country you might set up visits with musicians such as Jason Mraz, Joan Baez and Bonnie Raitt. Grace could do preliminary studies of their music and their life stories, and prepare a few questions. After the interviews she could write thumbnail sketches about the musicians and about her own reactions.

She might start with Jason because she knows him, and because helping others is so important to him. Joan Baez has been a social activist all her life, as you know. (Fifty-five years ago, when I was 20 and Joan was 21 and newly famous, she helped eight of us spend a summer building schools near Kisumu, Kenya, and it changed my life.) Perhaps Joan would like to support a rising musician struggling to do good with her fame. Visiting with Joan might open doors to Bonnie Raitt and others who have combined their music with an active social conscience.

Writing sketches about musicians who have tried to help others could have advantages on many levels for Grace and for everyone involved. For instance, studying the biographies and music of veteran musicians has to be helpful, and writing short essays help the songwriting (a kind of cross-training), and meeting a musician in this context might lead to follow-up visits on other topics. Learning to “Talk Good” is hard, and learning to “Do Good” is harder, but these are interesting challenges and worth trying.

With gratitude for all that team VanderWaal is doing,

Os Cresson

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