You know who Jarrett Krosoczka is, right? Of course you do. If you don’t, take a little bit and watch his Ted Talk. I’ll still be here:
Welcome back! Pretty great, right?
I’ve known Jarrett for something like seven or eight years. He moved to Florence not long after we started the show on Valley Free Radio, and came by the show to talk about Punk Farm. After we moved the show over to The River, things came together, as sometimes they do, and we co-created the Meltdown. I can’t even begin to describe how great it is to work with him and Gina every year on making it what we humbly think is the best kids’ music and book event around.
It wasn’t until a lot later that I found out about his remarkable story (really, watch the video – it’s his story to tell, not mine). And every time we talk about his story, it’s even clearer to me that the foundation of it is his grandparents (who raised him) and the Worcester Art Museum (where he got early art education, supported by his grandparents). They’re who figured out — in not-easy circumstances — how to cultivate the hilarious and creative talent that is Jarrett. They made it so he could fulfill his dreams.
He now gives back — and honors his grandparents — by helping raise money for scholarships to the Worcester Art Museum in their name, to help other kids pursue their dreams, or even just to have a creative and fun break during the summer. Classes like this can make a tremendous difference, not just for those kids who will be the next Jarrett.
“But the auction for that doesn’t come up again until December!” you protest (accurately). True enough. But if you’re like us, you’re probably filling out (or putting off filling out) your kids’ summer camp medical forms. And right now, there are some parents in central Massachusetts who are wishing they could send their kids to art classes at the Worcester Art Museum, and there’s more than finding their vaccination records in the way. So take a minute and make a contribution. There are a couple of ways you can do so:
First, go buy a copy of Monkey Boy to Lunch Lady – The Sketchbooks of Jarrett J. Krosoczka. 100% of the proceeds go to the Joe and Shirl Scholarship.
Or just write a check to the “Worcester Art Museum” with “Joe and Shirl Scholarship” in the memo line and mail it to Suzy Bonner, Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609.
A few years ago, Dena and I decided that we’d donate any money I make from the kids’ music side of things to various non-profits, and this year, we are thrilled to be able to fund a half-dozen or so kids going to an art class at Worcester, in honor of Jarrett’s grandparents, from Meltdown proceeds.
So: When you’re filling our the forms for summer classes and camps for your kids, if you’ve got a few extra bucks, send it on to help some kids who need it. Or if you go to the Meltdown (which is, after all, free!), think about how much fun you have, figure out a dollar figure associated with it, and send it off.