I cannot begin to express to you, dear Reader, how excited I am to be writing this post right now. In fact, I have been waiting for just the perfect moment to introduce you to one of my new favorite discoveries and possibly one of Austin’s best kept secrets when it comes to giving, art, music, and community! In honor of TheRebeccammendations’ 1st birthday on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010, here it is!
There is something magical about a good find. An adorable pair of $6 shoes at Target (yes, I am the proud finder and wearer). A shiny penny heads up. A hole-in-the-wall restaurant that you’re careful not to tell everyone about so you can continue to dine there without a wait. Now, I want to share this recently familiar feeling with you, and this time, I am not holding back!
Meet Kristin Vasquez, Nate Navarro, and Lamar Stockton (featured above). This enthusiastic and passionate team is the driving force behind, or on the front lines, rather, of one of Austin’s newest local non-profit and philanthropic organizations: MUSIC FOR THE CITY. The organization’s mission is relatable, friendly, carefully thought-out, and designed to make a difference in Austin:
Simply put, MUSIC FOR THE CITY is a community of artists, local businesses, and Austinites working together to beneﬁt our city’s charities. We are passionate about seeing Austin’s creative community come together in the name of giving back, while having a lot of fun doing it!
The organization’s concept consists of teaming with up-and-coming musicians and artists around town to coordinate major live music events and compilations records, from which proceeds benefit local causes- currently SafePlace and Austin Children’s Shelter. After founding the organization in late 2009, MUSIC FOR THE CITY had planned to hold their first local event in May of 2010, but sprung at the opportunity to hold an impromptu event, the Real Hope for Haiti Benefit on January 18th at The Parish, that they organized in just three days after the recent major earthquake in Haiti. The starting costs for the event were $800, and the resulting $15,000 raised at the concert went directly to Real Hope for Haiti.
It was during this event that local musician, Lamar Stockton, knew “this is what I want to be a part of”. Lamar is spearheading the Art of Giving, a soulful arm of MUSIC FOR THE CITY that helps immerse local musicians and artists in the Austin community through hands-on community service projects, including music education for children who are in need and cannot afford it. In fact, you can help Music for the City celebrate the launch of the program at the Art of Giving SXSW Charity Showcase THIS Saturday, March 20th at 7 PM at East Side Yoga. Over 10 local musicians will be sharing their talent, and designer MUSIC FOR THE CITY merchandise, as well as photography, will be sold to benefit the Art of Giving program.
I could go on and on about how excited I am for this organization that connects local musicians, local artists, local businesses, and supports local causes. That’s a whole lotta local in one sentence. And they mean it. Kristin, Nate, and Lamar are also all about local entertaining since they are a part of the Austin music scene. Here are their responses to my question: What’s your idea of fun?
Nate– Good food, good drinks, good music, good conversation with good people.
Lamar– 1) A day outside at the park with my three-year-old and wife, 2) playing ultimate frisbee, there’s something about watching the frisbee glide through the air, 3) As a musician, I don’t like being in the forefront, but I love backing somone up [on stage], creating something nice with friends.
Kristin – Enjoying one of the many things Austin has to offer with friends and my dogs. My idea of entertaining is creating a space where people can relax and enjoy the evening with backyard games.
If you’ve made it this far in my post, I’ll give you a little hint: You may have the chance to meet this terrific trio in a few weeks…stay tuned (ha!).
To learn more, or to contribute to this new exciting cause that advocates spreading local art, music, and giving throughout Austin, visit: www.musicforthecity.org.