Yamaha Cares Upcycle Program Provides Musical Instruments to Not for Profits That Transform Them into Works of Art

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Yamaha Corporation of America donated more than 200 “upcycled” musical instruments to four Orange County not-for profit organizations, which then collaborated with local artists and students to transform them into new works of art

Helen G. Dolas, founder and CEO, Able ARTS Work and David Jewell, partnerships and alliances manager, Yamaha Corporation of America

“Instead of crushing these instruments, the Yamaha Cares Upcycle Program provides an innovative way for organizations to raise funds for their art and music programs," says David Jewell, partnerships and alliances manager, Yamaha Corporation of America.

To many, musical instruments are works of art in and of themselves. But what if they could be used as a medium to create an entirely new art form and raise money for Orange County not-for-profit organizations at the same time? The Yamaha Cares Upcycle Program does just that, and the first results of this initiative will be on display at the Able ARTS Work Gallery in Long Beach, beginning March 12.

Upcycling is a creative reuse of products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value. Buena Park, California-based Yamaha Corporation of America donated more than 200 “upcycled” musical instruments—slightly blemished guitars, cellos and violins—to four Orange County not-for profit organizations, which then collaborated with local artists and students to transform them into new works of art.

The organizations—Able ARTS Work, Anaheim Elementary School District, Boys & Girls Club of Buena Park and KatrinaKures/CHOC —are now putting their creations on full display at the Able ARTS Work Gallery, encouraging their supporters to purchase them, which raises funds for the organizations in new, innovative ways.

Upcycled guitars sent by Yamaha to the Anaheim Elementary School District were turned into new pieces of art by families, the Muzeo Art group, as well as teachers and employees. Some chose to paint scenes on the guitars, while others chose to transform and repurpose their guitars into other useful or decorative items.

One such Muzeo artist, Robert Holton, not only stepped up to create a beautiful Disney-themed guitar for the Anaheim Elementary School District, but he also crafted a commemorative Dodger-themed guitar for KatrinaKures/CHOC, which will be on display at the Able Arts Work Gallery.

“Instead of crushing these instruments, the Yamaha Cares Upcycle Program provides an innovative way for organizations to raise funds for their art and music programs,” says David Jewell, partnerships and alliances manager, Yamaha Corporation of America. “In addition to promoting and funding the arts and music education, part of our corporate social responsibility mission is to reduce the amount of waste that Yamaha sends to a land fill.”

Able ARTS Work artists will receive a 50 percent commission on any work they sell, with the other half supporting the organization’s "A Home of our Own" capital campaign, which plans to purchase a permanent building and gallery for its adult day program for adults with disabilities. The other three organizations will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales.

“Through this generous partnership with the Yamaha Cares UpCycle Program, we have been able to provide our Boys & Girls Club members with an opportunity to be creative individually, while involving their families in a collective art project,” said Todd Trout, CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Buena Park. “Whether new to fine arts or steeped with artistic talent, these members have been brought into the endless world of art through UpCycle.”

“This program came at a time during the pandemic when parents and students really needed a creative outlet and allowed them to put their feelings and ideas into a meaningful project,” said Mark Anderson, curriculum specialist for Music, Anaheim Elementary School District. “We are always excited when there are opportunities for parents to engage in the student learning and this project brought so much joy from start to finish.”

“The medium of making art on a guitar allows people to identify a new and accessible experience in their journey of creative and personal expression,” says Able ARTS Work Founder and CEO Helen G. Dolas. “It's a dynamic force. The pieces on display are created by students of our day programs. The Upcycle project gives them a productive purpose to create artwork for our gallery, while promoting and empowering marginalized artists.”

The Able ARTS Work Gallery is located in Suite 150 at 6420 E. Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach beginning March 12. The exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of April. For more information about the Yamaha Cares Upcycle Program, please email David Jewell at yamahacares@yamaha.com

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About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is the largest subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.

About Yamaha Cares
Yamaha Cares is an employee-based initiative dedicated to charitable works to promote education, arts, health and human services, and community development in the areas where its employees live and work, as well as to spread the gift of music to people throughout the U.S. For more information, visit http://4wrd.it/YAMAHACARES.

About Able ARTS Work
The primary mission of Able ARTS Work is to provide lifelong learning, community service and vocational opportunities through the creative arts for people of all abilities and all ages in environment of warmth, encouragement and inclusion.

We believe music and art are vital tools to liberate and transform lives. Our guiding philosophy “Love before Learning” ensures that each and every one is welcomed and cherished as an individual, and has opportunities every day for self-expression, personal growth and joy.

About Anaheim Elementary School District
AESD is the 5th largest elementary district in the state, serving approximately 16,000 students at twenty-four schools. The district’s boundaries encompass most of the central portions of the City of Anaheim, an area that is demographically diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, economic status, and language. AESD’s 2019-20 student population was 85.4% Hispanic/Latino, 4.8% White,4.3% Asian, 1.3% African American, 0.9% Multi-racial, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1.4% Filipino, and 0.1% American Indian/Alaska Native. Over 83% of students are identified as socioeconomically disadvantaged, including those students that are eligible for Free/Reduced Meals 81%, identified as Foster Youth 0.6%, and/or identified as Homeless Youth 10%. The student population also includes 51.2% English Learners and 9% Students with Disabilities. Many AESD students speak a primary language other than English, with more than 50 different languages represented and Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic and Filipino among the most common.

About Boys & Girls Club of Buena Park
The Boys & Girls Club of Buena Park has been meeting the social, educational, and recreational needs of low-income, disadvantaged youth in our community for more than 70 years. Our mission is to enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The primary goal of the Club is to support all our members in remaining on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.

About KatrinaKures/CHOC
KatrinaKures is a movement started by the Jewell family in 2007 after Katrina Jewell was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2005. From the beginning, KatrinaKures has partnered with CHOC, a pediatric healthcare system in Orange County, California, to raise money for research to find a “Kure” for the disease. To date, the movement has raised over $200,000 for CHOC.

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