Let me just start by saying that this issue is near and dear to my heart. I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago so this is something that has affected me, my family and just about everyone I grew up with. The issue is violence and it’s tearing the Englewood and surrounding areas apart. There was just a little baby girl that fell victim to senseless violence, so this is an issue that doesn’t just affect the gangbangers and knuckleheads; it affects the community and the city as a whole.
Under the direction of President and Artistic Director Josephine Lee, the Chicago Children’s Choir will host its annual Target-Sponsored Paint The Town Red concert at 11AM on May 15, 2013. The event will be held at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park and will unite thousands of singers to spread the message of peace and raise funds for a new Englewood Neighborhood Choir Program in the fall.
“Violence in Chicago has reached epidemic proportions,” said Josephine Lee. “We as a community must help our city’s children find an alternative to the streets, and music holds the power to change their lives.”
The children that are singing will write wishes for peace and wear them on their Choir uniform. They will march hand in hand and sing as one through Millennium and Grant Parks. The concert is free and open to the public, but there is a financial goal. The goal is to raise $100,000 in order to launch the Englewood Neighborhood Choir Program and operate it for one year. The program is asking that people donate at www.ccchoir.org/support. The program is very important because it will give children a place to go during those crucial after-school hours. I believe in this initiative because when I was in school we had a Male Mentoring after-school program that kept a lot of us out of the streets, and it was very effective until they discontinued it. A press conference and reception will be held April 23, 2013, at 5:30PM at the Chicago Cultural Center to further explain the initiative, you can RSVP to [email protected].