( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) New MCPConnects Series of Interviews and Performances Continues to Bring Music to Isolated Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused many to adjust their lifestyle to fit the virtual world. However, this is nothing new for the Melodic Caring Project. The Seattle-based 501c3 charity has been bringing personalized live music performances by a wide range of touring artists directly to the hospital beds of sick children in various forms of isolation or quarantine for nearly 10 years. They just launched the new series called MCPConnects to bring music to its already captive audience and beyond, including health care workers, first responders, and those now living in isolation in the world.
Melodic Caring Project began in 2010 when 11-year old Kaydee Curbow was diagnosed with cancer. Unable to attend her own benefit concert in Seattle due to recent chemo treatments and a low immune system, Levi Ware decided to stream his music performance directly to her in her hospital room where she could see, hear and feel all the support gathered miles away in her honor. Afterward, Levi called Kaydee and her mom in her hospital room, and they were both crying because it meant so much to them. Realizing this was a void that could be filled with music, Levi and his wife Stephanie founded the charity shortly thereafter and have since impacted the lives of over 15,000 children and family members watching from hospital rooms around the world.
The organization first tapped into the array of local concerts in the Seattle area, live streaming artists’ scheduled shows from local clubs to local hospital wards populated by severely ill children they have dubbed rockSTARS. During each live broadcast, the artist on stage calls the patients out by name, offering love and support to each child and their families.
Melodic Caring Project slowly expanded its dominion to add shows originating from much larger venues—some in other cities—by high profile artists, among them Coldplay, Hozier, Lukas Nelson, Black Eyed Peas, Fitz and the Tantrums, Andy Grammar, Jason Mraz, Amos Lee, X Ambassadors, Brandi Carlile and many others.
The onset of the COVID-19 crisis in the organization’s hometown of Seattle has broadened Melodic Caring Project’s view of its purpose. “Our mission from the beginning has been to break down the walls of isolation, specifically for children who are hospitalized for long periods of time,” explains Levi Ware. “Now, suddenly, all of us around the world are faced with the same social distancing and ritual hand washing that is already a way of life for these very sick children and their families. With the fear and isolation that this incredible crisis is creating around the world, our mission has never been more crucial. Ironically, nobody is better at dealing with this extraordinary and abnormal situation than the children we have supported for years.”
Melodic Caring Project has essentially brought the outside world directly to children too sick to leave their hospital beds. Now, with live concerts furloughed during the current pandemic, MCP has used its existing technology to pivot and create original content to bring to all living in quarantine. One episode of MCPConnects portrays MCP alum artist Michael Fitzpatrick, of the American neo-pop and indie-soul band Fitz & The Tantrums, connecting with MCP’s rockSTARS watching from hospitals and home-care facilities around the world.
New episodes in the series, comprising a short Facetime conversation conducted by Levi Ware with an artist, some that have previously participated in MCP events, followed by a performance of a song by that artist, are posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. MCPConnects episodes are already in the queue from artists such as Tyrone Wells, Eva Holbrook (SHEL), Tim Wilson (Ivan & Alyosha), Ethan Anderson (Massy Ferguson), Brandon Ghorley (The BGP), Rob Drabkin among others. Many more will be shot over the coming weeks.
Music is a very powerful force, and the Melodic Caring Project has been creating programming for the past 10 years specifically for the purpose of supporting kids and families who are in isolation and quarantine due to health reasons. Now, in this time of isolation and social distancing that the public at large is experiencing for the first time, MCP continues to bring the healing power of music to those who need it most.
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