Huffpost College
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Judah Joseph Headshot

"Grace for Keshet": Where Music Meets Charity

Posted: Updated:

In today's world where practically anyone with a computer can record their voice and basic instruments and try to distribute a single, it's hard for individual artists to rise to the top. The market saturation makes it impossible for masses to hear everything and unfeasible for artists to reach everyone.

Accordingly, when it comes to charities, there are so many worthy causes that potential donors are often paralyzed by choice. Where is their money most appreciated and most efficiently applied?

Musician Jonny Shorr and CEO/Executive Director of Keshet Abbie Weisberg set out to simplify the process for connecting us to both high-quality, awesome music and deserving, worthy charities.

Launching on March 31, 2014 is Grace for Keshet, a ten-day crowd-funding campaign for arts programming at Keshet, a Chicago-based organization that provides educational, recreational, vocational, and social programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The arts programming that will benefit from the Grace for Keshet campaign focuses on providing a creative outlet for self-expression when conventional means are not an option.

Jonny Shorr is a Chicago transplant currently studying at USC's Thornton School of Music. His tour de force "Grace" is being made available for free download with a donation of $1 or more to the Grace for Keshet campaign. Very much a symbiotic partnership, Grace for Keshet both raises crucial funds for an profoundly meaningful arts initiative for individuals who need it most and also serves as a conduit for Jonny's very personal and powerful song. "Grace" is a song that celebrates "hope, determination, and a universal recognition of the human condition."

Partnered with USC School of Cinematic Arts students Burt Chaikin, Mike Smith, and Smith's production company Zephyr Entertainment Network, Grace for Keshet aims to raise $10,000 in its ten days to rejuvenate Keshet families and the dedicated staff that works with them each and every day. Its Facebook page has been posting sneak-peaks at the music video made to accompany the song and charity campaign, which has seen significant online traffic.

The original concept of an artist partnering with a charity is all at once professionally strategic and selfless. Shorr and Weisberg hope to see the $10,000 raised for Keshet's arts programming and to broaden Jonny's fanbase through this campaign, and if everything goes according to plan, that's exactly what will happen. Jonny, whose personal family connections to Keshet compelled him to write and perform the song for its 24th annual banquet last year, hoped "Grace" would "serve a greater purpose." Never did he think it would help to raise the financial means to further develop Keshet's arts programming.

Grace for Keshet has the potential between March 31st and April 9th to really change the lives of Chicagoan individuals with Special Needs. With each donor's contribution, Jonny's song also gets distributed to another person. And with a solo EP in the works for release in the coming months, it's a win-win for everyone.

To find out more about Grace for Keshet, visit its Facebook page or official website.

2014-03-31-14GraceforKeshet.jpg