Click picture/link for Fox7 Austin Story on the Grace Notes Project
Carl founded the Grace Notes Project in early 2017 while living in Austin Texas. The Grace Notes Project is an opportunity for musicians and artists in recovery to give back to the community by performing free or low cost concerts and events for other disadvantaged populations.
Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, Carl was afforded the opportunity to see world class music weekly. It occurred to him that there are sectors of the population that never get that opportunity - because of disability, financial strain, etc. High quality music should be available to everyone regardless of means, so Carl decided to do his part. As part of his own personal recovery efforts from substance abuse, he decided this might be a tangible, experiential way to make amends, serve the community, and introduce other artists in recovery to the concept of service work.
The first Grace Notes outreach was at a school in Smithville, TX around Christmas time- the teacher called Carl and let him know that she had 10 special needs kids who also were extremely economically challenged. One kid wanted a chocolate milkshake for Christmas and his family couldn't afford it. Carl got a number of gifts donated from his friends around the country (including the milkshake), loaded up the van with 6 other musicians and made his way to Smithville. He spent the afternoon playing music for the kids, hugging and crying with them. He met a girl named Lily who changed his life. She's a loving 8 year old with Cerebral Palsy. She and Carl became friends, and she would come see his band around Austin with her mom Pam. One night Pam sent Carl a Facebook message. It was a video of Lily in bed with leg braces, watching a video. The message read "Lily has to wear leg braces because she's in so much pain from the cerebral palsy." Lily was watching Carl's YouTube videos. Pam messaged, "I just want you to know, you help my kid with her pain." Immediately Carl decided to make this into an entity, and The Grace Notes Project was born.
Before long, they had partnered with 5 different facilities in Austin and had a roster of 20 musicians ready to serve any way they could. Thanks to a partnership with Face The Music Foundation, Grace Notes Project is able to take tax-deductible gifts to continue this important work going forward.
Ideal settings for this project are assisted living facilities, memory care, hospitals, homeless shelters, special needs facilities, etc. Carl can gauge the needs of the facility by demographic and financial need, and arrange a truly memorable concert for the facility free of charge, or at a vastly discounted rate.