By BlackGivesBack Atlanta contributor Lisa Brathwaite
Progressive spectators indulged in an array of styles and sounds at ONE MusicFest, the first annual indoor/outdoor live concert experience on the campus of Atlanta’s King Plow Arts Center on Saturday, July 31. Sponsored by MINI, a diverse selection of creative artists, musicians and nationally acclaimed performers Common, Goapele, De La Soul, and Mick Boogie came together to celebrate unity through real music and hip hop, soul and rock and roll expression. A portion of the concert’s proceeds benefited the Brown Family Children Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the event.
“The Foundation’s premise is about keeping and giving back music to the schools. As we know, the arts programs are always the first to go, and Dad felt very strongly about making sure kids got real instruments in their hands to learn and play,” said Dr. Yamma Brown, Vice President of the Brown Family Children Foundation and daughter of the legendary James Brown. “So we’re partnering with schools and trying to stay rooted in the community, particularly the underprivileged communities, because that’s where Dad would have gone. We want to make sure that we stress that in our programs, so that legacy of him is the focal point.”
“For me, giving back is telling the truth and staying true to who I am. It doesn’t always mean being political, it just means being who I am as an artist, as a woman, as a writer,” said singer/songwriter Goapele, acknowledging that participating in events such as the ONE MusicFest gives her an opportunity to support local organizations like the Brown Family Children Foundation, in addition to global causes in which she’s involved. Claiming South Africa as one of her communities, she’s gone back to her roots for a project she’s doing with artists from the Diaspora, as evidenced by her recently released World Cup 2010 celebratory recording, “Victory,” featuring Hip Hop Pantsula (listen HERE).
The Foundation received a special recognition presentation during the ONE MusicFest, and a designated area served as a drop-off spot for its current initiative of musical instrument donations for students in the city of Atlanta.
For more information on the evolving work of the James Brown Family Children Foundation, visit http://www.jamesbrownfamilyfdn.org/.
Dr. Yamma Brown, Vice-President, Brown Family Children Foundation
Photo Credit: Alex Johnson III Photography, firstname.lastname@example.org