Electric Forest invests $25,000 into local music, arts, environment

June 20, 2023

The Shelby High School and Alumni Marching Band performs at Electric Forest. – OCP file photo

Electric Forest invests $25,000 into local music, arts, environment

ROTHBURY – With the four-day Electric Forest Festival kicking off Thursday June 22 at the Double JJ Resort, the Oceana Community Foundation shared some good news about the festival investing $25,000 into the community that will provide new instruments for local high band students; recycling containers for a new park; and a donation toward a major art installation.

“The Electric Forest Festival focuses on creating collaborative change in Oceana County through its charitable give-back programs,” states an Oceana Community Foundation press release. “As part of its EF Michigan CAMP Project, the Electric Forest Charitable Fund inspired a collective effort to provide $14,500 in new instruments to Hart, Hesperia, Montague, Shelby and Pentwater bands by providing a lead gift of $10,000. Additional investments from the Electric Forest Charitable Fund include a $10,000 grant to sponsor recycling containers in the new Shelby Township Community Park and a $5,000 contribution towards the installation of the City of Hart’s Tin Man sculpture.

“Electric Forest’s Music in Schools program has supported local music education since 2012. By donating money and instruments to local school music programs, Electric Forest is helping to bridge the gap between diminishing school budgets and music program resource needs. Since its inception in 2012, The festival’s Music in Schools program has donated six figures to local schools to enhance the resources available to their music departments. The Music in Schools program also offers hands-on experiences to music students, including performance opportunities at the festival, as well as on-site mentorship opportunities where students interested in music production ‘shadow’ Electric Forest professionals during the event.

“Electric Forest began collaborating with the Oceana Community Foundation in 2019, creating the Electric Forest Charitable Fund to support music programs in public schools. The festival expanded the Music in Schools Program to better support ALL that the forest values — community, arts, music and preservation. Electric Forest seeks to support local projects that align with these various core values by introducing the Electric Forest Michigan CAMP Project. Since 2022, the program continues to support local music programs through their charitable fund while also funding community arts and parks projects.”

“HQ seeks to continue spreading the forest ethos and uplifting Michigan’s local music, arts, and nature,” said Chad Cheek, who is CFO for AEG Presents, which operates Electric Forest, in addition to 32 other festivals nationwide. “Oceana County is Electric Forest’s home and should be a place of artistic discovery year-round.”

The Shelby High School and Alumni Marching Band performs at Electric Forest.
– OCP file photo

“The fund’s commitment to music programs in public schools sparked a conversation about investing in Oceana’s student bands,” continues the press release. “After providing a $10,000 grant, other foundation fundholders supported the initiative to collectively raise $14,500, including Malcolm “Pete” Wood Memorial Fund, Little Point Sable Arts Fund, Thomas Clair Fund for Young Musicians and David P. Markiewicz Memorial Fund. The foundation worked with the area band directors to collect a ‘wish list’ of their needs, with most focusing on replacing dilapidated instruments. With the fantastic collaboration between fundholders, each school was awarded a $2,000 to $3,500 grant based on presented needs.”

“Not every student can afford a rental program, so it is imperative that we have an adequate supply of instruments at our disposal,” said Pentwater Public School’s K12 Music/Band Director Jesse Rodriguez. “Thank you for this opportunity to provide our kids with the best musical experience that they deserve.”

“Electric Forest was a vital supporter of the recent installation of a 22-foot Tin Man sculpture in downtown Hart,” the press release states. “The sculpture, created by artist Bill Secunda, is a part of the city’s tiered campaign to ‘Bring the Art to Hart.’ Secunda is a five-time Art Prize finalist based in Pennsylvania. He premiered a similar Tin Man sculpture in 2021’s Art Prize, leading to the commission of Hart’s Tin Man with the addition of a red heart in his hands. In providing a $5,000 grant from the their fund, the festival is excited to support accessible art opportunities in Oceana County.

“Continuing its support of collective community-based fundraising, the festival is partnering with Shelby Township to support its $5.3 million Shelby Township Community Park. Their $10,000 award will focus on preserving the park by installing recycling containers throughout the 35-acre park.”

“We are thrilled to continue supporting the festival’s philanthropic interests and seeing the growing impact of collective giving in Oceana County,” Foundation CEO Tammy Carey said “The work of the Electric Forest Charitable Fund and other foundation fundholders illustrates that, when we work together as a community, there is no limit to the impact we can have.”

You can support the Electric Forest Charitable Fund, one of the Foundation’s 190+ funds, or learn more about starting your own named fund at www.oceanafoundation.org/give/ or reach out to CEO Tammy Carey at 231-869-3377.

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