The Playing For Change Foundation is dedicated to connecting the world through music by providing resources to musicians and their communities around the world.
A decade ago a small group of documentary filmmakers set out with a dream to create a film rooted in the music of the streets. Not only has that dream been realized, it has blossomed into a global sensation called Playing For Change, a project including musicians of every level of renown, that has touched the lives of millions of people around the world.
While traveling the world filming and recording musicians, the crew became intimately involved with the music and people of each community they visited. Although many of these communities had limited resources and a modest standard of living, the people in them were full of generosity, warmth, and above all they were connected to each other by a common thread: music.
Out of these discoveries, the Playing For Change Foundation was born and made its mission to ensure that anyone with the desire to receive a music education would have the opportunity to do so. The Playing For Change Foundation is dedicated to the fundamental idea that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music.
Playing For Change Foundation Overview
What We Do
The Playing For Change Foundation is dedicated to creating positive social change through music education. We are driven by the belief that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music. By providing children a safe place to learn, flourish and express themselves, PFCF helps provide a creative alternative to the struggles many of these children face daily.
Music’s global impacts are explored via interaction with other schools, students, teachers and musical traditions. Our music schools are designed to benefit the students and the communities where they live. Each school belongs to its local community. Materials and labor for the buildings are locally sourced and supplied. When possible, instruments are made by and purchased from local artisans, classes are taught by local teachers, and the schools are owned and administered by local community members. The community is invested in the success of its school.
Who We Help
Many of the regions the Playing For Change Foundation works within suffer from extreme poverty, lack of basic resources, limited medical care and educational resources, past conflicts and genocide, unstable governments, and a host of infectious diseases.
Thanks to the amazing people we have met on our journey– people in the poorest towns and villages who still manage to find hope in the midst of their daily struggles– we believe now more than ever in the resiliency of the human spirit, and in music’s ability to transform a dire situation into a hopeful one.
Where We're Going
In our ongoing effort to connect the world through music, our direction has been shaped by where we have been and by those who have inspired us along the way. With this in mind, we strive to:
- Continue progress and foster sustainability with schools currently in development.
- Develop new music schools and programs in new regions.
- Establish valuable partnerships and collaborate with other organizations.
- Expand the opportunities and resources available to communities in need.
- Offer opportunities for our supporting community of donors continue to be involved.
- To be an access point for various forms of aid, including to clean water, electricity, and medical resources
- Create positive change through music education.
With a conga in one hand and a calculator in the other, Brian serves as President of the Playing…more
Having grown up in a family that values both arts and education, Lawrence Ames shares the vision…more
Mark Johnson is a Grammy®-winning producer/engineer and award-winning film director whose…more
Treasurer & Founder, Ex-Officio
Whitney Kroenke has been a part of the Playing For Change family since meeting Mark Johnson for…more
Seema Tikare grew up as a nomad, having lived in Pondicherry, Goa, and Bangalore, India, then…more
David Bacon grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area surrounded by the influence of music. David's…more
Heather Bacon grew up in Hinsdale, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She attended Colorado State…more
Jeremy Goulder is a storyteller, passionate about creating and sharing media that educates and…more
Joel Goulder is a founding member of the Playing For Change Foundation. He has been doing…more
Tom is an expert in system integration and the development of collaborative transdisciplinary…more
Greg's lifelong love of music began as far back as he can remember, growing up with his family…more
Kevin discovered his passion for filmmaking in Detroit, Michigan. While shooting award winning…more
In 1998, armed with a B.A. in business from The Ohio State University, Raan moved west to start a…more
Elizabeth began working with the Foundation in January 2010 as a consultant helping the team…more
Director of Communications and Special Events
Shauna Murray was born and raised in Colorado where she grew up playing piano, guitar, flute, and…more
Director, Finance and Programs
Thea Nash is a proud member of the Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF), she has been a fan of…more
Administrative & Outreach Assistant
Emily recently graduated summa cum laude from UC Davis with Bachelor of Arts degrees in…more
Nicole grew up in the San Fernando Valley and is now a senior at California State University,…more
Archivist / Asian Program Coordinator
William Aura's conscious dedication to global concerns has brought him over a dozen times to the…more
Coordinator, African music programs
François has been an active member of Playing For Change since 2005. He first met Mark Johnson in…more