Carbondale-based non-profit Feed Them with Music has a business model that they hope will bring small musical acts more exposure and bigger audiences, while simultaneously feeding the Third World. It works like this: Paul Frantzich and Ashley Mosher, the duo who run the organization, manage and promote the show. The artist only has to arrive and perform.
The door price is about 33 percent more than the artist would normally charge, but for each dollar that comes through the door and gets paid at the merch table, one meal to the Third World is paid for (approximately $0.36 each). While the musician loses a third of the proceeds, Frantzich says it's worth it for the musician. Aside from the philanthropic aspect, attendance doubles. "People are happy to pay a little extra when they know it's doing good," he adds.
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See the Feed Them with Music model at work on Thursday, July 21 at the Walnut Room when Lipbone Redding performs with Paul Frantzich, under the moniker Fran-zik. Tickets are $15, meaning fifteen meals are getting delivered for the price of admission. The show begins at 7 p.m.
Feed Them with Music aspires to bring the musicians closer to the people they're helping to support. SOPUDEP http://www.sopudep.org/, a school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti is one of the main organizations they've worked with. The school feeds more than 500 students a day; for many of them, it's the only meal they receive each day. Surrounded by rubble, the school lost its feeding program in the earthquake and needs $3,000 each month to keep it going.
Frantzich and Mosher make regular trips to Haiti to visit the school -- and hope to begin bringing musicians as well. Being able to ask what organizations need directly is what Frantzich says the organization is about. "Nine out of ten [organizations] know what they need," he says. "What they need is the wind of American dollars."
That question also makes those Third World Countries more sustainable. A more direct line between the performers and those they are feeding creates a stronger bond and makes people more willing to help. They currently work with big hunger NGOs like the United Nations World Food Programme, as well, though they'd like the phase out of that eventually. Feed Them with Music has worked with a number of artists, including Arlo Guthrie, John Oates (formerly of Hall & Oates) and Mason Jennings, among others.