Playing for Change: Connecting the World Through Music

In August of 2001, Whitney Kroenke and Mark Johnson began working together on an idea for a documentary film that would be called “Playing For Change.”  Mark wanted to travel around the country with a mobile recording studio and capture moments on the street that would normally “slip though the cracks” of society.  They discovered extraordinary musicians and wanted to connect them to each other by starting a song in one location and let each musician add their part of the song.  The project seemed bigger than just one country, so they continued to travel around the world and meet new musicians and grow the songs.  On one trip, they met a man named Pokie Klass in a township of South Africa who shared a dream of opening a music school in his community.  Whitney and Mark wanted to help him realize his dream and that’s how the Playing For Change Foundation was born.  The following year, they broke ground for the first music school on the exact spot where they first spoke to Pokie about his dream!  They continue to journey around the world, make new friends, hear new music and create opportunities to inspire youth.  In 2010,  a global movement supported by Yoko Ono and music lovers around the world joined to launch a Power to the People campaign with the song, “Imagine.”  The goal is to continue to advance John Lennon’s vision of peace by engaging artists and audiences to contribute to music education programs worldwide.

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