Blog

The Project AMPLIFI team is excited to announce that our next Musicians’ Residency, to be held in Winter 2017, will focus on women in music. We encourage bands that are led by or include a majority of women to apply for this rare experience to focus on writing and practicing music while resting, rejuvenating and bonding with other outstanding female musicians. Applications should be submitted through this LINK between May 1-31. The Musicians’ Residency is a five day program hosted in West Marin. Residents will be chosen based on their commitment to social causes and the clarity of the artistic goals that they plan to pursue during the program. The Residency programming will be tailored to support the particular goals and creative interests identified by the artists in their applications. During their time in the program, the Musician Residents will be working on new...
Posted by Alexis and Leila
The Project AMPLIFI team is gearing up for the next Musicians’ Residency, February 22-26, featuring two outstanding bands, Royal Jelly Jive and Matt Jaffe & The Distractions.  Both bands were selected through a competitive application process that included questions about the artists’ work to support social causes such as environmental justice, poverty eradication, and youth education. The Residency programming is then tailored to support the particular goals and creative interests identified by the artists in their applications. During their time in the program, the Musician Residents will be working on new creative concepts, writing and practicing new music. They will be performing some of this new material live at Smiley’s Saloon in Bolinas, CA on Friday 2/25 and Saturday 2/26. The Musicians’ Residency supports artistic achievement and...
Posted by Alexis Shoemate & Leila Monroe

January 24th 2017

2016 Staff Music Picks

In 2016, Project AMPLIFI worked with over 200 independent musicians. Here's a Soundcloud playlist with our staff's selection of some of our favorite songs of 2016. The playlist features tracks from artists like our Musician Residents, Hibbity Dibbity and The Human Assembly, Ensemble Mik Nawooj, Insects vs. Robots, Kendra McKinley, and many more. ...
Our inaugural AMPLIFI Sessions -- Musicians’ Residency was an extraordinary experience -- watch highlights in this Musicians’ Residency video featuring Hibbity Dibbity and The HA. These bands were immersed in five days of educational programming, outdoor activities, mind-body and health practices, and intensive song-writing. The results were incredibly powerful as the artists wrote brilliant new material, gained confidence and knowledge, and developed strategies for success as musicians and as leaders in their communities.   "It was one of the best times of my life and so helpful and informative. I feel so blessed to have been involved."   "Priceless experience -- they put the keys to the kingdom at our fingertips." -- Post-Residency Survey Having proven the tremendous value of the Musicians’ Residency, we’ve...
Posted by Alexis Shoemate
The two bands that participated in our inaugural program -- Hibbity Dibbity and The HA -- shared their excitement and appreciation for the opportunity to be immersed in five days of educational programming, outdoor activities, mind-body and health practices, and intensive song-writing. "Project AMPLIFI just gave us the week of our musical lives with their inaugural artist residency. Not enough words can express our gratitude. Thank you!!! And thank you to Smiley's and the town of Bo' for the hospitality. Once again our minds are blown and our hearts have grown." -- The HA "Big thanks to our friends at Project AMPLIFI and all of the wonderful people at Smiley's for taking such good care of us during our residency in Bolinas. We are very grateful to have such good people on our side." -- Hibbity Dibbity In their application...
Posted by Alexis Shoemate
This spring, Project AMPLIFI launches AMPLIFI Sessions, a Musicians’ Residency designed especially for professional touring artists. This program supports artistic achievement and musicians’ leadership by offering select artists a program of activities designed to spark creativity, expand knowledge and expertise, and provide physical and mental rejuvenation. AMPLIFI Sessions, Spring 2016, will be hosted at Smiley’s Saloon & Hotel in Bolinas, California, and nearby sites February 24-28. Residents will: learn from expert speakers; experience time in nature with hiking, surfing and other activities; spend time with band mates; and unplug, unwind and connect with one another and new fans. The artists will also participate in daily educational sessions led by seasoned professionals from the music industry, health and wellness, and nonprofit sectors. During the...
Posted by Leila Monroe and Alexis Shoemate

December 16th 2015

2015 Staff Picks Playlist

Project AMPLIFI booked over 200 musicians at Smiley's in 2015, produced ‪‎Surf and Sound Sessions‬, and launched a Musicians' Residency to support artists' creative process. Thank you to all our musicians, community, and supporters for a wonderful year. Check out Project AMPLIFI's 2015 Staff Picks playlist featuring musicians we had the honor to work this year....
Posted by Alexis Shoemate
Project AMPLIFI is proud to announce the presentation of our first annual Artist Leadership Award to Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real. With this award we express our gratitude to the artists for their contributions to remedying the great social and environmental challenges of our time. We also hope that ever more musicians will be inspired to find their voice, speaking out for good works that make the world a better place. Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real are outstanding musicians and positive role models for any generation. They are dedicated to Giving Back to many important organizations, from Farm Aid to the AIDS Service Center to Jobs for Autism, through benefit concerts and public outreach. Project AMPLIFI knows that music has tremendous power to move the human spirit. Musicians can use their craft to inspire love, passion, and a whole rainbow of emotions. They...
Posted by Leila
AMPLIFI Sessions ~ Musicians' Residency   SPRING 2016 INFORMATION & APPLICATION   Project AMPLIFi is launching AMPLIFI Sessions, an artist residency designed especially for professional touring musicians. This program will support artistic achievement and musician leadership by offering select musicians a program of activities designed to spark creativity, increase motivation, and provide physical and mental rejuvenation.   AMPLIFI Sessions, Spring 2016, will be hosted at Smiley’s Saloon & Hotel in Bolinas, California, and nearby sites. Residents will: learn from expert speakers; experience nature with hiking, surfing and other activities; spend time with band mates; and unplug, unwind and connect with one another and new fans.   Each day, residents will participate in a one hour presentation and discussion...
Posted by Leila
We are so excited for our Surf & Sound Sessions happening 10/9-10/11 in Bolinas! It's going to be an amazing gathering with community, music, surfing, beach cleanups, and tons of outdoor fun--all for the love of the oceans!   We're honored that so many incredible people will be joining us over the weekend, including one of our favorite bands Trails and Ways and ocean advocate superstar Stiv Wilson from The Story of Stuff Project.    We brought Trails and Ways and Stiv Wilson together for a conversation about their shared passion for the ocean and the urgent need to act to protect it from microplastic pollution.    Trails and Ways' Keith Brower Brown (TW): Stiv, we understand that you’re an expert in microbead pollution. How did you learn about this problem?   The Story of Stuff Project's...
Posted by Project AMPLIFI
Project AMPLIFI’s mission is to create platforms for music and art to inform, inspire and activate community. We serve two target audiences: first, musicians and artists; and second, the music-loving public. To achieve our mission and serve these audiences, in 2015, the AMPLIFI team has focused on developing our Musician Residency Program. Throughout the year, we've learned a great deal about artists' interests and needs by booking and managing musicians in their relations with one of our grantors, an intimate historic venue, Smiley’s Saloon & Hotel. We have had the opportunity to book and get to know nearly 150 artists this year, offering them a unique performance experience. We frequently receive feedback from artists that they feel more appreciated and creatively energized than in any other performance setting. We also worked with our board members to...
Posted by Leila Monroe & Alexis Shoemate
The original concept behind Project AMPLIFI began in 2004 with a plan to create a physical space, a venue, where people could convene to enjoy music and socializing while also learning and becoming inspired to work on critical civic issues of our time. The cost and complexity of acquiring a physical space directed us to focus on creating experiences and events on a roving basis at various venues in the Bay Area. Project AMPLIFI’s mission is to create platforms for music and art to inform, inspire and activate community. Now, Project AMPLIFI has partnered with Smiley’s Schooner Saloon -- a rustic, intimate venue along the gorgeous Northern California coast – to give our programing a permanent home. This partnership is already yielding exciting results. In a few short weeks, the Project AMPLIFI team has now lined up dozens of musicians to perform at Smiley’s,...
Posted by Leila Monroe
2014 has been a busy year. Our organization changed its name from Party Corps to Project AMPLIFI, a name that embodies our mission to create platforms for music and art to inform, inspire and activate community. Since 2013, Project AMPLIFI has produced twelve events -- accompanied by video, written and social media -- to support community education and activism through music. This year we’ve worked with tremendous artists, including Grandmaster Flash, The Kin, Carolyn Malachi, Future Twin, Owl Paws, and many others. We’ve profiled outstanding community service done by artists and our audience alike. We’ve highlighted and supported work on important issues including: Youth Leadership through international service learning with Global Glimpse. Local climate change adaptation with Bay Localize. Raising over $15,000 at our first dance marathon...
Posted by Leila Monroe
Last Thursday, Project AMPLIFI produced a Concert & Conversation (C2) to explore the question of how the Bay Area Music & Art scene can survive and thrive, despite the affordable housing crisis. Our panelists suggested five actions for anyone who wants to keep San Francisco and the Bay Area a vibrant place for music and art:   1. Support local music and art by going out to shows, buying local art and making donations to organizations that support the arts! 2. Know who your Supervisor is and let them know that you care about ensuring that there are venues and places where music and art can prosper. 3. Contact the Entertainment Commission: their mission is to support nightlife and entertainment, and they’re ready to help you get a special event permit to host music at any cafe, restaurant or other venue. 4. Get involved on the board of a nonprofit...
Posted by Leila Monroe
San Francisco has long been an epicenter of creativity. We all know about the massive economic changes the City and broader Bay Area are experiencing as a result of the incredible growth and success of the technology sector, but what do these changes mean for our local music and art scenes? There are many signs that the rising cost of living, shifting demographics, and the burst of new buildings are all contributing to the decline in the San Francisco local music scene. Venues are closing and artists are moving out of San Francisco, decamping for new artistic hubs where they can afford to live and create. But there are also signs of brilliant new activities that indicate that the change is not all bad. With a little thought, and a whole lot of work, perhaps we can prevent the worst unintended consequences of change, while ensuring that the boom of certain sectors results in support...
Posted by Leila Monroe
It might have sounded like a crazy idea: forgo a precious lazy Saturday morning for eight hours of dancing for a cause? But as any marathon runner or AIDS/Life Cycle aficionado will tell you, it’s the extreme challenge that builds comradery and makes feats of strength so rewarding. As teams of decked-out dancers began to boogie promptly at 9am on October 11th, it became clear that The Dance SF would be an unforgettable experience. The idea for the dance marathon took root as we considered how we could create a unique event to support the homeless youth support services of one of our favorite nonprofit beneficiaries, At The Crossroads, while also building our network of supporters. The Project AMPLIFI community believes that music has tremendous power to motivate and connect, and we love to dance, so a dance marathon felt like exactly the right thing to do. Linking up with...
Posted by Leila Monroe
It’s that time of year again.  The leaves are changing, the weather is warming, and cars and belongings reemerge into the Bay covered in playa dust.  For most of the nation, the passing of Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of a new school year, but for the Bay Area it seems to better represent another Burning Man gone by. We’re calling on all Burners out there who just can’t face once again packing away their playa dust coated clothing to donate your furs and sparkles to The Dance SF.  Project AMPLIFI will collect your used gear (we’re willing to get covered in playa dust so you don’t have to deal with it!), and leave you with the good vibes of knowing that you’re supporting the homeless youth services of At The Crossroads. As a nonprofit organization, we’re also happy to offer a receipt for your tax deductable...
Posted by Elena Lunt
In 2008, Party Corps was born when a group of like-minded friends decided to turn our passion for live music into a means to support local, grassroots organizations. We received our non-profit status, brought outstanding new people onto our team, and grew our network of partner musicians and expanded our Good Cause Directory to more than 70 grassroots organizations. We produced many events supporting a wide range of issues, from homelessness to environmental justice. In short, the Party Corps named has served us well. But today we are proud to announce that we are transitioning into a new era and a new name for our organization: Project AMPLIFI! Project AMPLIFI captures the essence of the programs we will be rolling out in the coming months. We will continue to produce music-based events, such as the one happening tonight on behalf of Bay Localize. We will continue to curate...
Posted by Leila Monroe
Music, community, and food collided at our office space when Party Corps co-hosted a brunch pop-up concert with WeWork. For those of you that don’t know about WeWork, it’s a collaborative office environment, which encourages innovation and community through a shared workspace. In support of Party Corps’ operations, WeWork became our first corporate member and we had the opportunity to put on our second pop-up concert for the building’s occupants. This live music and mimosa brunch drew crowds from all seven floors of WeWork and featured CelloJoe, an anomaly in the world of cellists because of his unique fusion of classical music, Hip Hop, and beatboxing. "He records live on stage with a loop pedal and produces intricate tapestries of harmony, melody, and rhythm. His beatboxing and funky cello grooves form a rich soundscape for intelligent lyrics...
Posted by Alexis Shoemate
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by climate change, but Oakland-based environmental justice organization Bay Localize -- one of the first non-profit organizations invited to join Party Corps’ Good Cause Directory -- is working to inspire and support community leaders in building equitable communities that are resilient to climate change impacts. They create and help implement grassroots strategies including youth development, leadership training, community education, and coalition building. I recently sat down with Bay Localize’s staff to learn more about their work and the local-to-global movement to tackle climate change. When I asked Bay Localize Program Director Kirsten Schwind what inspired her to co-found the organization she replied, “It was a real faith in the power of grassroots leadership to develop innovative solutions to address the root...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Party Corps, At The Crossroads and MoreSF announce The Dance SF, a dance marathon challenge for Bay Area companies, leaders, celebrities, friends and neighbors to aid homeless youth. On Saturday, October 11, individual and organized teams of dancers from every skill level will dance for eight hours, from 9am to 5pm, to raise money for two outstanding Bay Area nonprofit organizations, At the Crossroads and Party Corps. Debates about housing, transportation, and the economic divide have been creating headlines and hashtags for months.  The Dance SF is an opportunity to quiet the critics and unite the city for one amazing day of music and dance. Party Corps’ Founder and Executive Director Leila Monroe explained how this event will bring San Francisco together: “The Dance SF will strengthen community through an intensely fun, bonding experience. We are calling on...
Posted by Leila Monroe
It’s hard to be a rock band in the 21st century.  If you sound too much like classic rock dinosaurs, you’ll be flippantly written off as a bad cliché, a tribute act to prehistoric times.  If you can somehow balance retro riffs with a modern edge, a hip self-awareness that shields one from lazy censure, then you’re probably Jack White. City of Women is not Jack White nor one of his thousand or so side projects.  That’s something you probably already knew about the band.  What you don’t know, however, is that the band balances that precarious tightrope of nostalgia and ‘now,’ incorporating unabashedly old-school style riffs and scintillating guitar solos from a bygone era with a decidedly millennial sensibility.  These guys aren’t merely trying to sound like ‘70s...
Posted by Nicholas Schneider
For Colyn Cameron, singer/songwriter behind Wake Owl, his journeys catalyze his music. Wake Owl’s debut full-length LP The Private World of Paradise arrived in stores in March via Vagrant Records, and it has captivated audiences and critics with a sound that manages to be both nostalgic and innovative. Party Corps caught up with Cameron on his U.S. headlining tour in anticipation of Wake Owl’s up-coming San Francisco show at The Chapel on Thursday, May 22nd. Always curious about the stories behind music and how artists relate to the communities they visit, we asked Cameron what Bay Area issues and nonprofits from our Good Cause Directory best speak to his experience. Cameron shared how his training in organic agriculture and experience working on farms throughout the UK, Germany, Chile and Canada give him a strong interest in programs that connect communities to the land...
Posted by Leila Monroe
A Note from Party Corps’ Blog Editor: In the Bay Area, we’ve been exposed to the conversations and attitudes about what is happening to our community as the economics of the region develop and shift the market. We’ve seen some strong opinions about what SF is like, as well as, varying reports on what is bound to happen in our music scene.  As a music loving community, we are interested in the diversity of perspective and we’re happy to feature this blog from our intern, Nicholas Schneider. *** We know the life of a musician is, generally, never easy.  Here’s the highlight reel of ugly realities they have to face on a daily basis: the constant hassle of getting people to come out to shows; balancing that fine line between art and marketability with your music; the hair-pulling, teeth gnashing struggle to break into mainstream...
Posted by Nicholas Schneider
To produce a Music for Good party, our team at Party Corps first gets to know the musicians, asking questions about their interests and suggesting ideas for beneficiary nonprofit organizations who would inspire them and create a captivating conversation on stage. After New York-based rockers, The Kin, selected Global Glimpse – because of the group’s exciting mission to provide life-changing leadership education to U.S. students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds – we did our best to prep the guys about the organization’s work. When we sat down in the green room before the show with Isaac, Thorald and Shakerleg from The Kin met and Global Glimpse Executive Director Eliza Pesuit and Program Director Marcela Berrios, it was clear that our match-making played off. The Kin were already well versed in Global Glimpse’s work to serve almost 1500 diverse...
Posted by Leila Monroe
The first time I walked into a record store- a real record store, not the music section at whatever big box retailer made its home at the mall- it was somewhat akin to Socrates’ “Allegory of the Cave”: at last I had crawled out from the consuming darkness of ignorance into the blinding light of knowledge.  I was only 14 when this awakening happened, but even at this tender age I was an arrogant little music aficionado.  At the time I thought I knew it all: I could sing all the Beatles’ B-sides backwards, I could rattle off the entire catalogs of Springsteen and Dylan and Cash, I could lecture about the origins of rock n’ roll like a tenured professor at some questionably credentialed community college.  I obviously knew everything there was to know about music. Then came that fateful day at Amoeba Music in San...
Posted by Nicholas Schneider
Party Corps’ upcoming Music for Good party is Saturday, March 22nd at Bruno’s and will feature The Kin in concert and conversation with Global Glimpse. Global Glimpse is a grassroots organization working to inspire a new generation of young Americans to become responsible global citizens. Through leadership training, global education and immersion in the developing world, Global Glimpse provides young people with first-hand exposure to different countries, cultures and people. These experiences motivate young people to take action to better their world together. Eliza Pesuit is Global Glimpse’s Executive Director: She believes that equality is born out of a strong sense of social responsibility that begins at home but reaches far beyond national borders. Eliza was kind enough to share more details about Global Glimpse’s program and their...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Calling all artists! After Party Corps’ success creating a network of passionate musicians, we are expanding our good work to encourage local artists.  In continuation with Party Corps’ vision to support community connections and an engaged citizenry through music, we are searching for additional ways to promote local creativity through art.  Party Corps produces Music for Good parties that pair musicians with beneficiary nonprofit organizations from our Good Cause Directory.  We are now adding a third connection in the form of locally produced art.  As such, Party Corps is accepting submissions for visual art that represents Party Corps’ vision, music, and/or the beneficiary nonprofit’s mission, which falls into one or more of the eight categories found in the Good Cause Directory (Animals, Arts & Culture, Children & Youth,...
Posted by Elena Lunt

February 26th 2014

Musical Matchmaking

One of the ways in which we aim to support the grassroots, nonprofit organizations that make up our Good Cause Directory is by connecting them to potential supporters and collaborators they may not have otherwise been introduced to. In February, multi-instrumentalist, composer and teacher Laura Inserra, one of three performers at Party Corps' first-ever Music for Good party, teamed-up with Little Opera, our first-ever Music for Good party benefiting nonprofit, for a series of workshops. We are so proud that these two artistic forces were able to come together once again! Check out the video from our first Music for Good party featuring performances by The Stone Foxes, Laura Inserra and Ghost Town Jenny. More about Little Opera: Mission Statement:The foundation of Little Opera is putting opera in the hands of children. Using real artists as models of artistic excellence,...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Party Corps' mission is to connect the public to good causes through music. In 2013 we produced 9 Music for Good parties and supported more than 50 Pop-Up Concerts for a Cause that benefited 15 nonprofit organizations that are providing vital services and programs in communities throughout the bay area. In 2014 we’ll keep the party going with inspiring line-ups featuring musicians who believe that music is a connecting force that can unite people and ignite a passion for social change. Here is Party Corps' wish list of amazing artists we'd love to work with on behalf of the grassroots organizations that make up our Good Cause Directory. Fingers crossed y'all!  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Our parents free-loved to them in the 60s and they helped us get through finals your junior year of college. Each time the gang gets back together they...
Posted by Party Corps Staff
Party Corps had a blast last Saturday watching Macklemore and Ryan Lewis perform at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco.  We found ourselves continuously recapping our experiences from the concert, and then thought; since we’re having these awesome discussions about our impressions of the show, why not write a blog documenting our conversations about the night? What were the 3 things you liked most about the show? Alexis:  All I have to say is E-40!!! What an awesome surprise guest to join the Macklemore set. E-40 is a Bay Area institution, representing independent rap success, but also a juxtaposition to the messaging in Macklemore’s music. To see these two powerhouses collaborate speaks greatly to the credibility in Macklemore’s rapping abilities, but also leaves me thinking that E-40 might be more open-minded than I perceived him to be....
Posted by Elena Lunt & Alexis Shoemate
For those of you who were unable to attend each and every one of our Music for Good parties this past year AND for those of you who want to relive the awesome Party Corps' 2013 Music for Good: Songs in Review is here! The following is a list of the amazing musicians who lent their time and talent for the benefit of our Good Cause Directory members and in support of our mission to connect the public to good causes through music.  Get a listen to some of our favorite songs by these artists, get inspired by their message and and then add "attend all Music for Good parties" to your 2014 new year's resolution list, above diet and exercise but below calling your mother more often.  Cheers to more in 2014! 1. The Stone Foxes: Everybody Knows   2. Ghost Town Jenny: Funeral 3. Laura...
Posted by Olivia Swilley, Alexis Shoemate, Elena Lunt
5. Retweets and Likes Nothing says I heart you like a RT and a Like. We are truly thankful for everyone who has helped spread the word about all the wonderful Good Causes Party Corps has had the pleasure of supporting in 2013. 4. Musicians with a Message We worked with some amazing artists this year, each with a unique voice and a clear message. From socially conscious hip hop, to blues and r&b, from soul and jazz to rap battles about Pluto, we covered the gambit and brought fans and music-lovers together for an experience unlike any other.    3. Dance Parties Despite what your fellow MUNI passengers might say, there is NEVER a wrong time to have a dance party. We’ve had the most fun at our Music for Good parties that burst into dancing ... don't stop 'til you get enough!  2. San Francisco Words cannot express our...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Walking into 111 Minna for Party Corps’ Music for Good party, with purple lights bleeding into blue, orange, and red haze, I could feel the excitement of the crowd building in the air. The contagious positive energy grew when Carolyn Malachi took the stage. Starting off with standards, jazzy in nature, but with rhythm that reached modern and funky levels, Carolyn brought the crowd to a place of ebb and flow as they danced to her magical voice and transcending funky beats. Within moments of the second song starting, the guests were boogieing down and waving their hands in the air, grooving along to her melodies. As one of the curators of this event, I couldn’t help but smile as I looked around the room and saw so many happy people dancing, sipping their cocktails, completely engaged in the sounds of Carolyn Malachi’s voice. Adding to the evening’s excitement, three...
Posted by Alexis Shoemate
Party Corps’ next Music for Good party is Saturday, November 2nd at 111 Minna and will feature Grammy-nominated artist Carolyn Malachi and beneficiary Good Cause Directory member, At The Crossroads (ATC). We recently had a chance to speak with Carolyn and ATC Co-Founder and Director, Rob Gitin about their work and their sources of inspiration. Party Corps: Tell us a bit about what At The Crossroads (ATC) does, how you do it and how long you’ve been doing this work. Rob Gitin: At The Crossroads has been around for 16 years, started it in 1997. We created the organization because there are a ton of homeless kids and there are some who have a fairly easy time asking for help, seeking help, working within the kind of traditional systems of help, and then there are others that have a harder time with it. Either they face personal barriers that make it...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
The Bay Area is perfect for a food and music loving small town transplant like me.  No matter the time or day the Bay has music and food galore.  There’s also something to be said for the level of anonymity that city life can offer.  I do wonder though, who is secretly people-watching like I am.  The Bay Area is so wonderfully freaky and diverse that people have seen it all.  It actually appears the only time someone bats an eye is if you try to say “hi” to them on the street.  I found out the hard way that outside of a small town, where strangers engage in casual conversations, this can elicit various reactions ranging from confused scowls to complete silence as my unsuspecting verbal victims hurriedly pass me by.  A friend of mine, and a Bay Area local, made a good point when he told me that we simply pass by too many people in a...
Posted by Elena Lunt
Silicon Valley is the field of high tech dreams, where any hard working entrepreneur has a shot at the startup jackpot. While the opportunity abounds in science and technology careers, especially in the hot startup market in the Bay Area, many recent debates, studies and opinions emphasize that these career opportunities are much less available to people of color and women. This month, Party Corps interviewed an outstanding grassroots organization working to support these two demographics in gaining more access to the science and technology sectors. The Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI) is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization with a powerful mission: to eliminate the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.  With programs like Summer...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Party Corps’ August Music for Good party featured an incredible lineup of talented musicians and a nonprofit – Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center (BAWCC) – that is working tirelessly to support women, children, and families in the San Francisco Tenderloin. What spoke to me about BAWCC is their ability to deliver opportunities for children to channel and actualize their creative expression. From arts and crafts after-school programs to dance classes, BAWCC offers children in a low-income, multi-ethnic, and inner-city neighborhood, a chance to discover and demonstrate their creativity. The musicians who performed found that BAWCC’s artistic programs for children aligned with their core values and motivated them to participate in our “Shine a Light on the Loin” party. Courage, a twosome that got their start playing the BART station...
Posted by Alexis Shoemate
A little recognition for hard work and a job well done goes a long way. That’s one of the guiding principles behind Party Corps’ mission to support grassroots nonprofit organizations by connecting them to the public through music-based events and production of related educational media. We know there are many hundreds of small community groups working hard to make our communities safer, healthier, and more vibrant, but receiving limited spotlight and recognition. We work to change that. Just as Party Corps shines a light on many small nonprofit organizations, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has returned the favor by presenting us with a Certificate of Honor. At last week’s Music for Good party, produced on behalf of the Tenderloin-based Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services presented Party Corps with a...
Posted by Leila Monroe
As a longtime lover of rap music, I’ve been asked by many people over the years how I can stand a genre that is often infused with hateful, money glorifying, and degrading messages. Most of the time I respond by saying that my love for bass and beats trumps the words, and that it doesn’t matter what the musicians are rapping about as long as the music sounds good. However, what if rap and hip hop had as much driving bass as I crave, coupled with words that parallel my personal convictions and beliefs in social justice, equality, prosperity, environmental responsibility, and human potential? Could I give up the mainstream sounds for a genre that integrates my musical cravings with my core beliefs? After hearing the music at Party Corps’ Hip Hop themed Music for Good party in June 2013, I realized I could. The June 2013 Music for Good party had an incredible lineup of...
Posted by Alexis Shoemate
Midge Wilson doesn't take no for an answer; at least not when it comes to getting things done for the community she loves.  Wilson is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Bay Area Women’s and Children's Center (BAWCC) which is located in the heart of San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. When asked how she got such a gutsy attitude Wilson replied, "I think it's just a part of who I am. Also, you know even when I was a little kid I started a clothing drive when I was in elementary school because I walked a mile to go to school and there was a church on the way and there were some kids in my class that seemed to not have many clothes; they wore the same clothes every single day to go to school. And yeah, the first time I ever did a clothing drive it wasn't even my church.  It was a church that I passed. And I went in and I talked to the...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Party Corps' mission is to connect good people to good causes through music. We believe that music is a connecting force that can bind people together and positively influence social change. This drives us to find and support the very best local nonprofit organizations, especially groups that share our philosophy and are addressing some of the world's most challenging issues. This month, we’re thrilled to be producing our Music for Good party for one such organization: Green for All.  This groundbreaking organization is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans through an inclusive green economy that’s strong enough to lift people out of poverty.  We decided to work with Green for All for our June Music for Good party to honor Black Music Appreciation Month and Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. Green for...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
As you get ready to enjoy a long weekend and the start of summer, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on Memorial Day as a day of remembrance and celebration for the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Whether you’re a pacifist or a geopolitical hawk, we believe you’ll agree that the men and women who’ve given so much in the service should get the help and support they deserve when they return home and leave active duty. The nonprofit beneficiary of our next monthly Music for Good forum Wednesday, May 29th at Cafe du Nord is Swords to Plowshares, a community-based, not-for-profit service organization that provides health and social services, supportive housing, employment training and legal assistance to veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Party Corps is very pleased and honored to present...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
The Nile Project is a unique organization with an ambitious mission: to address the Nile basin’s cultural and environmental challenges using an innovative approach that combines music, education and an enterprise platform.  Party Corps interviewed Nile Project co-founders Mina Girgis and Meklit Hadero in preparation for our April 24, 2013 Music for Good forum event, which will deepen the exploration of their project and feature Meklit’s spellbinding music.  Mina and Meklit shared with us the origin of the visionary Nile Project.  In a region rife with decades of cultural, environmental and economic challenges the Nile Project is creating cross-cultural music collaborations, unique learning activities and supporting training and support of East African entreprenuers who are developing holistic strategies to a range of societal challenges. The Nile...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Did you know that the average American family throws away $2200 worth of food every year?  And nationwide, this adds up to billions of dollars, millions of barrels of oil and vast amounts of water wasted.  Those are the harsh realities that Food Shift is working to change.  At the same time, CoFED, is helping to start student run food cooperatives to deliver “Real Food” – food that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability --  to students around the country. At our March Music for Good Forum, Party Corps is excited to highlight these two growing organizations tackling the problems of food waste and food sustainability.  Both were founded by young, committed individuals dedicated to changing the way how food is grown, distributed, consumed, and discarded. Food Shift,...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
“We need a four syllable word,” stated Erin Bregman, founder of Little Opera, to her first through fifth graders. “Entirely!” one answered quickly. “Justin Bieber,” another hesitantly responded. “I think I heard entirely,” Bregman prompted.  The chorus of young voices then rang out, “Little Opera, we act, we dance, we sing. Little Opera where we do everything, entirely, entire-la, entirely, entire-laaaa …” Inspired by her work as a teaching artist with the San Francisco Opera, Bregman launched Little Opera during the 2011-2012 school year at West Portal Elementary School.  Supported by individual donors and tuition based on a sliding scale,  Little Opera is a comprehensive seven-month afterschool program that leads each class of students through the creation and performance of an original opera. I...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) emerged from a meeting in Mexico City where 30 women leaders from 26 countries gathered to create solutions to a common concern: the lack of support available to women working on the front lines of social and environmental challenges. Launching the group in 2006, after working internationally for organizations like Care and the Natural Capital Institute, WEA’s Founder and Co-Director Melinda Kramer is leading an organization that aims to strengthen women’s leadership, help secure women’s rights, and meaningfully address some of the biggest environmental challenges facing our world today. Melinda was kind enough to answer a few questions about how it all got started and what the future may hold for WEA. 1. What moved you to start this organization? Environmental issues are women’s issues. The pollution of our water and the...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
Remember when parents were outraged by the Rolling Stones? Neither do I. But it happened.  While today we’re about as threatened by Enya as the Rolling Stones, it wasn’t always that way. In their early days the Stones were counter-culture, dangerous, and drove parents crazy.  But as Jon Parales addressed in Sunday’s New York Times, the hard edges of their reputation have worn away over the past fifty years.  It had to be that way really. There’s no relevant band of senior citizens that manages to tap into the angst of youth.  It seems though, that their stubborn popularity has less to do with their ability to adapt and stay relevant, than with their ability to stay exactly the same. They only seem soft now because society has hardened around them. A whole lot of punk kids rebelling against their parents listened to the Stones in...
Posted by Simon Dunne
After returning from a trip to India, where she was researching the effectiveness of micofinancing in impoverished countries, Svetha Janumpalli, CEO and Founder of New Incentives, was inspired to help solve the complex problem of global poverty.   “I wasn’t looking to start a new organization. I saw no reason to add another NGO,” said Janumpalli.  During her time in India she repeatedly heard wealthy, prospective donors complain about the lack of effectiveness many non-profits had when offering loans to individuals who were already poor and who were now going to be burdened with a loan they may not be able to repay. “How can people take out loans for their children’s healthcare and education and be expected to pay them back?” wondered Janumpalli. After moving to the Bay Area in 2009, Janumpalli began doing research, and was soon...
Posted by Olivia Swilley

September 11th 2012

Labor of Love

More than just an opportunity to eat more hot dogs than Kobayashi, Labor Day is a celebration of the economic and social contributions of workers.  Since 1894, when Labor Day became a federal holiday, millions of Americans have been putting on their seersucker suits and lining parade routes of Anytown, USA in honor of those who fought for the labor rights we all enjoy today. While many think of Labor Day as a day to recognize those who decades ago built our roads and bridges and worked in mines and manholes, it is important to remember that Labor Day is also celebration of all of us who are responsible for keeping our great engine of opportunity and ingenuity going today.  The Bay Area is a region where millions of workers occupy high rises and board rooms, research labs and classrooms, assembly lines and stock rooms all in an effort to provide for their needs and for the...
Posted by Olivia Swilley
When you find yourself swept along in a raging sea of party, you need a beacon to guide you.  The googly-eyed Panda-on-a-Stick is Party Corps’ beacon, and having proved its worth, now our mascot. He came up big at San Francisco’s epic three day festival, Outside Lands, guiding wayward members of our crew home through the storm. We swam among the masses like salmon, darted like Frogger, and partied with tens of thousands of other good people that converged on misty Golden Gate Park, knowing we could always find our way back to the Panda and our crew of friends.   This huge, diverse and uniquely San Francisco festival satisfied and saturated even the greediest music fan with an excellent and diverse lineup, delicious local food, wine, and beer, comedy and many surprises.  Another Planet Entertainment crafted an all-star lineup: from Stevie Wonder’s...
Posted by Leila
I’ve just spent three weeks in Brazil, working to advance ocean conservation at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”).  It was winter in Rio, which meant chilly weather with frequent downpours, filthy puddles, and an especially dark edge to poverty on the street.   The American fantasy of Rio de Janeiro as the ultimate spot for beach, babes, and beats glosses over the grimy reality of daily life in the city.  But the rain could not obscure the vibrant, indefatigable musical potpourri that is the heartbeat of Brazilian culture. I kept my ears open for the sweet sounds of Brazilian music – samba, bossa nova, forró, and more --  and I was rewarded.  What I had not expected was how familiar many of the sounds were, and how frequently I encountered signs of American influence and the blending of influence from...
Posted by Leila
Paving over our farms and forests disconnects us from nature and our supply of food. Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” is a classic reminder that what seems like progress may not always be a good idea for our communities and our environment.  Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got Till it's gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot. But in the Bay Area and around the country, there are a growing number of many great stories of community organizations that are turning the tide to bring life back to formerly barren concrete jungles [such a good song!]. Small plots of lands in cities are being turned into productive miniature farms by organizations like Alemany Farm in San Francisco and City Slicker Farms, in Oakland.   A group called Urban Farming -- supported by Atlantic Records...
Posted by Leila
The two most recent non-profits added to our Good Cause Directory have awesome commonalities: healing and women.  The Women’s Community Clinic’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of women and girls in the Bay Area. Through their innovative volunteer model, they are able to provide $5 worth of health care services for every $1 donated to the Clinic. Party Corps had the great pleasure to feature the Women’s Community Clinic at one of our early events a few years back.  We had some logistical challenges with that event – it wasn’t one of our best -- but Executive Director Carlina Hansen, and Development Director Tara Medve were gracious and supportive, offering feedback and helping us learn from that experience.  They are great role models! The Women’s Community Clinic has a big benefit event coming up on May 10...

February 22nd 2012

Rock the Website

Welcome to Party Corps’ shiny, fabulous new website.   Huge thanks to Eddie Drieman at Letter Five design and Ryan Leglu at Net Acceleration for their excellence in designing and developing the site.  We are so happy to have this fabulous new web space where Party Corps can connect our Good Causes, Musicians, our Members and the public to fulfill our mission.  This new site has many features that will help us achieve our mission – connecting good people to good causes through music.  ·       The Good Cause Directory, is a resource for people who want to learn about non-profits and get involved in good causes.   Small and micro-sized grassroots organizations can create a profile in the Directory, and they then become eligible for to be beneficiaries of a Party Corps...

February 21st 2012

Party Corps 2.0

Over the last three years, as an informal social network Party Corps, threw events for 100-450 guests each, raising money and support for amazing Bay Area Organizations.  We threw events to benefit an urban farm providing fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved San Francisco residents(Alemany Farm); a program to send physical therapists to the Democratic Republic of Congo (The Rehabilitation Initiative); a free women’s health clinic (The Women’s Community Clinic); an organization that helps homeless San Francisco youth build lives of excellence (At The Crossroads); and a volunteer legal aid program for the homeless (General Assistance Advocacy Project ). Our past events let us test how music can motivate and galvanize a community of active citizens.  Past experience also verified the significant need among grassroots nonprofit organizations for the...
We chose the name Party Corps because it evokes two things. First, the Party CORE.  The Core is central or innermost part of a thing.  The core of a Party is connection.  Parties build community and connect individuals.  Music is often the magical element that draws people in and joins us together. Think of those moments when you’re at a dance party or filled with sound at a live performance and you realize there’s magic connecting you and everyone else in the room.   It’s the music.  Music is a powerful connecting force and a pulsing energy in our daily lives.  Then, there’s the CORPS. Esprit de corps is defined as acommon spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to a cause among the members of a group.  Like us, the Army Corps and the Peace Corps build things. Party Corps is building better...