This September 20th, the Playing For Change Foundation will be celebrating its 4th annual Playing For Change Day, a global celebration of music and its power to unite and uplift communities all over the world. We started this Day in 2011 to provide an opportunity for all of the fans, followers, and friends of the PFC movement to participate more directly in what we do, unifying humanity and empowering people all over the world to find true self-expression through music.
It’s amazing how many people have written to us expressing how much the “Songs Around the World” video series inspired them and made them want to get involved in our organization. Not only musicians and artists, but people from all walks of life would say “I watched your ‘Peace Through Music’ documentary and the ‘Songs Around the World’ series and was blown away… How do I become a part of this movement?!”
We created PFC Day as a way for these people to directly channel that passion, energy, and dedication into something that would truly make a difference– not just in their local communities but in underserved and remote populations all across the globe. The funds raised through people’s grassroots PFC Day events go to support the Playing For Change Foundation’s 9 music education programs throughout the world in Mali, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Nepal, and Thailand. The Day is a chance for people to engage with our cause in whatever way is most meaningful to them, be it playing a large-scale outdoor concert, a short acoustic performance in a coffee house, hula-hooping in their backyard, filming their own music video, teaching a benefit yoga class, hosting a bake sale, or busking on street corners or subway platforms (how this whole movement began!). The possibilities are truly endless and we’ve had the joy of seeing just how far so many thousands of people all over the world are willing to go for the cause. We’ve also had a pleasure of seeing it all GROW! Our first PFC Day in 2011 was a solid effort with 225 events in 41 countries, but last year we had over 300 events in 56 countries which raised over $150,000 to support music education programming worldwide and we have a good feeling this year is going to be our biggest and best yet!
One of the most rewarding parts of it is that we’ve also been able to extend our programmatic reach as a direct result of PFC Day. A few people in Bangkok, Thailand had organized their own PFC Day event back in 2011… as our correspondence continued to flourish and some of our friends happened to be out there for the event in September, soon enough we found ourselves working with those Thai contacts to establish the Khlong Toey Music Program, PFCF’s 9th official school. To this day it serves over 30 children every week and provides them with a safe haven away from drugs and gang activity in one of Bangkok’s most notorious slums. We’ve been able to forge even more connections and use PFC Day as a chance to connect students in U.S. schools to our own students in Africa or Asia, helping all of them understand what it’s like to be part of a global family.
Our PFC Day event creators are some of the most driven, inspiring people I’ve had the privilege of getting to know. Now that a number of them are in their second, third, or even fourth year of coordinating events, they’ve been able to recruit large groups of dedicated volunteers to support their efforts and they’ve shown what it means to be a true ambassador for the cause. I’m grateful for all the people who have reached out to us, offering a helping hand and an eagerness to make our movement grow. If you haven’t yet had the joy of participating in PFC Day, look for an event in your area or create your own at pfcday.org
! See you all on September 20th.
Jeremy Elliott, PFC Day Coordinator
Playing for Change grew from a humble dream to make the world a little brighter, and now supports musicians all over the world. For only $5 a month, become a Member and enjoy the entire PFC music catalogue, receive discounts in our shop, and know 20% of your Membership is donated directly to the Playing for Change Foundation.