We Believe in Music
When we sat down with musician Kenny Liner to chat about this Saturday's Believe in Music benefit concert, he explained that "being in a band was a selfish way to appreciate music."
Given that Liner was in one of Baltimore's most notable bands - The Bridge - for 10 years, many may disagree with his sentiment. However, when The Bridge decided to part ways in 2011, Liner was at a crossroads.
Moving to Portland, Oregon to "figure out what I wanted to do with my life," Liner quickly realized how much he missed his hometown of Baltimore and how desperately he wanted to give back to the community that supported him for those 10 years.
That was when Liner founded Believe in Music, a foundation aimed to uplift underprivileged Baltimore City students through music education. "I have a lot of friends who are city teachers," Liner explained. "They talk about the lack of funding for music programs and how the current system isn't connecting with children."
In fact, Baltimore City is often cited as the most under-funded school system in Maryland and music programs in over half of the city's public schools have been cut entirely.
Partnering with the Living Classrooms Foundation, Liner established music classes for elementary and middle school-aged students at two youth centers in East Baltimore. He examined the Maryland state music education curriculum and rewrote it to be more accommodating to these students, the majority of whom live in public housing.
"Since instruments aren't available in city schools, I created programs that involve hip hop, dance, beat boxing, singing, and marching," he said. "This teaches the same musical concepts, but is way more accessible to these kids."
To say that we were blown away by Liner and the Believe in Music program is an understatement. He is a true artist who not only expresses his art through music, but encourages that same expression in others - the embodiment of supporting local creativity.
We're partnering with Liner on a benefit concert for Believe in Music this Saturday, October 27 at the Maryland Science Center. For one-night only, The Bridge will perform a reunion show, along with a rooftop DJ lounge and craft beer from yours truly.
Tickets are still on sale for our Believe in Music benefit show. You can also get involved with Believe in Music and make a donation on the foundation's website.