A Growing Community of Musician-Advocates Supporting Men: 1in6 Thursdays on the Joyful Heart Foundation Blog
1in6 launched 1BlueString in November of 2012 as a means to raise awareness about the statistic that 1 in 6 men are survivors of an unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood. At its core the campaign is simple: with the gesture of donning one blue string a guitarist can symbolize the statistic, express solidarity with those men, and start healthy conversations that challenge the stigmas that prevent individuals from seeking the help they need in working through an unwanted experience in their past.
Since the start of my tenure with 1in6 and 1BlueString in April of 2013, I’ve been humbled not only by the number of people eager to champion this issue, but also by the creativity that individuals have displayed in using the campaign to engage their peers and their unique communities. As a young person I drew great inspiration from bands like Fugazi, as well as musicians local to the San Diego music scene in which I grew up, who combined a serious dedication to their art with an awareness of their potential to affect positive social change.
While there is no blueprint or “right way” to serve your community as a musician or music fan, with 1BlueString our hope is to provide an opportunity for individuals to be creative and find their own unique voice in the important, challenging, and rewarding mission to build a network of support for male survivors and their loved ones. I’d like to share a few of the 1BlueString events and activities that have taken place this summer, and introduce some of the people who have worked hard to foster a growing community of musician-advocates.
On Monday, AXS TV televised the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards live from the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Among the prizes featured was the “Artist Philanthropic Award,” honoring successful collaborations between bands and charities. 1BlueString and Modern Baseball — a Philadelphia-based indie-rock band — were nominated for their efforts in raising awareness about male survivors. As singer-guitarist Brendan Lukens notes in an article featured in the latest issue of AP magazine, “We are all so proud to be a part of 1BlueString and personally, joining the cause is my proudest moment in Modern Baseball.”
Alternative Press correspondent Nick Major also paid a visit to the 1in6 offices to interview the 1BlueString staff for a profile on their APTV video channel.
Modern Baseball has championed 1BlueString both on and off stage this summer, including curating a benefit album titled The Big Comp II. Released through Luken’s charity record label “Big Footprints,” the massive compilation features songs by 85 bands including veterans and rising stars in the indie-rock scene. The album is available only during the month of July as a $5 digital download, with 60% of the proceeds benefiting 1BlueString and 40% supporting the Nature Conservancy’s adopt an acre program. The Big Comp II has garnered press from popular music blogs such as SPIN.com, Property of Zack, and A/V Club, an important step forward for the campaign’s mission to shed greater light on the 1 in 6 statistic.
For the second year in a row, 1BlueString appeared as an official charity of the Vans Warped Tour, an alternative rock festival celebrating its 20th anniversary. In addition to sharing 1BlueString and NO MORE merchandise and information with festival attendees, the campaign teamed up with Saves The Day, one of the festival’s headliners, for a PSA and hashtag contest. During the month of July, individuals who help spread the word by sending out a post on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #1BlueStringSavesTheDay will be automatically entered to win a 1BlueString guitar autographed by the band. Full details on the contest are available at 1BlueString.org/SavesTheDay.
We’re looking forward to more exciting 1BlueString events coming up this summer, including the release of 6 Degrees, a benefit album curated by Gina Turner. 6 Degrees will feature original songs inspired by the campaign, including tracks from Matt Hoggatt — a guest-blogger for 1BlueString — and Gina herself. You can stay up to date with campaign news and ways to get involved by visiting 1BlueString.org or following the campaign on your favorite social media site. Thanks for your support!
By George Pritzker, Creative Projects Manager for 1in6
George Pritzker is a Southern California based musician and artist with experience in youth education and the promotion of community-centered art. As a musician, George has recorded and toured throughout the United States as a member of rock and experimental bands. He has performed in ensembles dedicated to traditional Chinese, Balinese, and West African music, and his work also appears in collaborative and interdisciplinary settings, including mixed media installations and film scores.