Home » Local charity brings music to children’s hospitals
April 28, 2009 – Texas Children’s Hospital
Houston non-profit Love Street Light Circus today announced that musicians from across the city have come together to put on a regular music series at local children’s hospitals. Santana lead singer Andy Vargas and four-time Grammy winner David de la Garza of La Mafia will formally kick off the series with a special Cinco de Mayo visit to Texas Children’s Hospital and nearby Shriners Hospital for Children. The organization has dubbed the program TONIC – Taking Our Noise Into Children’s Hospitals.
TONIC performances initially will occur monthly at both Texas Children’s and Shriners. TONIC will feature a variety of performers, such as local recording artists Jennifer Grassman and Wayside Drive. Love Street founder, local attorney Patrick Waites, says that the response from the music community has been tremendous. “As soon as word got out about Love Street, musicians began asking us how they can get involved. When we announced the TONIC program, the response was immediate – ‘sign us up’. The 2009 slate is already full.” Love Street plans to grow the series to other hospitals. The limiting factor, Patrick says, is not a lack of musicians but the all-volunteer organization’s desire not to overextend itself. “We want to ensure that we build this in a sustainable way.”
In addition to coordinating the visits, Love Street aims to take the intimidation and hassle out of the process. “In addition to recruiting the musicians, we walk them through the entire process, letting them know what to expect and covering such things as musical themes to avoid,” Patrick said. The organization also aims to make the process easier for the musicians by providing needed equipment. Love Street staged a successful fundraiser earlier in the month at Bohemeos (708 Telephone Rd.) to raise funds for that purpose. More than a dozen local bands performed in support of the cause.
Carol Herron, Arts In Medicine Coordinator at Texas Children’s Cancer Center acknowledged the benefits that Love Street brings to the patients. “We greatly appreciate the talent and time given by the musicians of Love Street. The families at Texas Children’s Cancer Center spend many hours undergoing treatment in our clinic and the LSLC musicians bring diversion and fun to their day. Children dance and parents smile as they are able to relax and listen to these talented musicians.”
Love Street Light Circus is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to mobilize Houston’s music community to benefit the city’s children. The TONIC program builds on the group’s past accomplishments, which have included both performing for children in hospitals and fundraising for programs benefitting children. Last November, the group raised $10,000 for the Purple Songs Can Fly Project, a music program based at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. The event brought together more than 70 local musicians to perform the Beatles’ White Album.
The TONIC program is just one of several that Love Street offers. It is in the process of compiling a database of musicians who pledge to perform free of charge for children’s charities, which it will publish on its website.
The organization also features a talented band, which itself performs as part of TONIC and for local charities. The band is currently scheduled to perform at the RAINN Over Houston benefit event and the Children’s Assessment Center’s back-to-school party. The band can also be found pulling an occasional publicity stunt, such as when it performed on a downtown rooftop to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ final public performance. As a nod to Houston’s own musical history and the organization’s namesake, the performance occurred atop the International Coffee Building, which once housed the legendary music club Love Street Light Circus and Feelgood Machine. Learn more at www.lovestreetlightcircus.org