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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Silent Auction Will Raise Money For Free Instruments, Lessons For Budding Young Musicians On The West Side

The Chicago Arts and Music Project is hosting a two-part fundraiser to serve more West Side youth in its free music programs.

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GARFIELD PARK — A West Side music organization that offers free instruments and private lessons is raising money to serve more young people.

The Chicago Arts and Music Project, also known as CAMP, is running a two-part fundraiser to expand its year-round music program.

The organization is hosting a cocktail class called CAMP Spirits April 15, and ticket sales will help fund the music programs. The virtual class will be hosted by L.A-based funk trombonist Alex Wasily.

Participants will see how to make custom cocktails and mocktails while learning more about the organization, Executive Director Lindsay Fredrickson said.

“We will teach people a little bit more about CAMP and have a couple students perform, as well,” she said.

Tickets can be purchased on the Chicago Arts and Music Project website.

The second part of the fundraiser is a silent auction. Participants can bid on prizes like yoga classes, a vacation in Mexico and art pieces.

The silent auction takes place on the Chicago Arts and Music Project website and runs April 9-16. The music organization is accepting donations, and those willing to give items and services to be auctioned off at fundraiser can contact Frederickson at lindsayfredrickson@chicagoartsandmusicproject.org.

The Chicago Arts and Music Project is hosted at Breakthrough Urban Ministries and serves 45 students living in Garfield Park, Lawndale, Austin and Humboldt Park. The program is free and provides students with instruments, six hours of weekly rehearsals and a 30-minute private lesson each week.

The fundraiser aims to grow the program’s enrollment to 65 participants next year.

The organization uses music as a pathway to “change people’s lives and communities for the better,” Fredrickson said.

Students learn how to play instruments and compose music that explores issues relevant to their lives, Fredrickson said.

“Instead of just getting up and performing whatever music you choose, you have the opportunity to say something really profound in front of a large group of people,” she said.

Each year, students undertake a long-term project that follows a theme of their choosing.

Last year, youth did a series of compositions and performances that explored the impacts of gun violence in their neighborhoods. The group participated in peace circles with Breakthrough’s violence prevention teams, and they performed the music they composed at gathering places like the Austin Community Family Center.

Students decided this year’s project would focus on Black Lives Matter after having conversations about Breonna Taylor, a Black woman whom police killed in Kentucky.

“I would really love for students to compose music about what Black Lives Matter means to them. And I would really love to host a concert that honors some of the lives that have been lost … one dedicated to Ahmaud Arbery, one dedicated to Breonna Taylor, one dedicated to George Floyd,” Frederickson said.

Enrollment for the Chicago Arts and Music Project begins in June on the organization’s website.

Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.

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