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Diana Mao


Bethany and the Guitar - Making Music and Creating Change

Posted: 06/20/11 02:21 PM ET


We are living in a day and age where society is becoming even more desensitized to human suffering and the deprivations that plague our world: there are 27 million slaves today, more than 800 million people still do not have the safe drinking water or sanitation they need for a life in good health, 1 billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day, 2.7 billion struggle to survive on less than two dollars per day and 584 million women are illiterate. When we are faced with daunting statistics and stories of despair, our natural reaction is to retract and turn the blind eye. But not everyone is like that. I am launching "Doing Good in the City," a series of blog entries that highlight stories of change-makers impacting their community and world. Meet Bethany Parks, a young musician and abolitionist.

Bethany decided to move to Arlington, VA to focus on her passion for music. She debuted at her church youth group as a vocalist. After her freshman year of college, she began writing songs and her brother, Kurtis, encouraged her to pursue her hidden talent. This led to the formation of her band -- Bethany and the Guitar.

Her band currently has five members -- Eric Montgomery on bass, Nick Welsh on percussion, Kurtis Parks on guitar and vocals, and Sarah Parks on BGVS and keys. Bethany and the Guitar have performed at coffee shops and concert venues throughout Washington, D.C. and its greater metro area. Bethany says that writing music is emotional and like writing in her own diary. Capturing daily occurrences and her reflections inspires her music. Bethany might remind you of Colbie Caillat or Ingrid Michelson, but her unique sound and sincere lyrics leave no room for any confusion and even any comparison to mainstream artists. Even though she is only at the beginning stages of her career, Bethany is already giving to charities that focus on child abuse and human trafficking.

After watching the movie Taken, Bethany was moved to take action. This film opened her eyes to the horror that exploitation could really happen to anyone, anywhere. Bethany has always had love for children and sensitivity towards their suffering. She started working with children at a young age. She now has a desire to continue raising awareness about child abuse and human trafficking while making music. Bethany says, "Musicians have an influence in shaping culture." She believes in using music for good and will continue to help non-profit organizations. Bethany recently performed in a benefit concert for an anti-human trafficking organization based in New York City and will continue to fight slavery and the exploitation of children through her music. In the music industry, she stands out as an emerging leader in the fight for social justice. The world is in need of more artists like Bethany.

Here is an excerpt from her song, "In Need":

If I fall on my own with no one around

Would you hear me make a sound?

If I cried all alone on this cold barren floor

Would you ask me what I'm crying for?

'Cause I'm in need of a savior

Could it be you? could it be you?

And all I need is a favor

Can I have you? can I have you?

In a scene from my past

You can see I was broken

Does it scare you to know who I am

In a page from my life

You can read a sad story

Will you write me a happy ending?

'Cause I'm in need of a savior

Could it be you? could it be you?

And all I need is a favor

Can I have you? can I have you?

I'm in need of a savior

Could it be you? could it be you?

And all I need is a favor

Can I have you? can I have you?

Here is an artist who is not only committed to support organizations that combat human trafficking but she is incorporating the message into what she loves to do -- sing. Be sure to check out her latest song, "Summertime," which will be released on June 21st. All the proceeds will go towards an anti-human trafficking organization based in New York City.




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