How to help get guitars and instruction into the hands of inner-city and at-risk youth


MUSACK's goal is simple: get guitars and instruction into the hands of inner-city and at-risk youth. It's not about turning kids into rock stars. If it happens, great… hope they remember us. Our foundation wants to afford kids a platform to say "I exist. I'm here. I have something to say." In a world where school systems are seeing record breaking budgetary shortfalls, we're trying to pick up the slack in a real, feet on the ground, grass roots way. You want to learn how to play? We'll give you what you need.

Oddly, we started in Nantucket, of all places, 5 years ago when our charity founder, Donick Cary (writer on Parks and Recreation, The Simpsons, and Letterman), who was born and raised in Nantucket, noticed an alarming rise in suicide and drug abuse in the year-round community. Nantucket is a great place during the summer months, but in the off season, those that live there, largely an immigrant service population, suffer brutal isolating harsh winters. With little else to do, a large portion of youth on the island resort to drugs and despair. So Donick started MUSACK as a way out. More a community destination than a "school" per se, we made a deal with the kids: Show up regularly and we will give you everything you need to succeed. And it's been pretty amazing. In the 5 years since we've started, we've put some 150+ kids through our Nantucket program and this year marks the opening of four (working on five) locations in the Los Angeles area in inner-city areas that desperately need our help. Our goal is to have outlets in every major city by the end of the decade.

So, how do we make our money:? You keep asking the right questions! Okay… Every year, Donick holds a giant concert in his backyard in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. We invite 500+ people to come with their families, sit on blankets, eat some great food and check out some amazing bands in an insanely intimate setting. This year marks our 5th show. It's like a tiny, backyard Coachella. Previous guests have included YO LA TENGO, JONATHAN RICHMAN, THE POLYPHONIC SPREE, SUPERCHUNK, MIKE WATT + THE SECONDMEN, CHILDISH GAMBINO, SHE & HIM, JOHN DOE, JODY STEPHENS of BIG STAR, HORACE PANTER of THE SPECIALS and many, many more.

We're doing it again: This SATURDAY, AUGUST 22 from 12PM-11PM:

MUSACK'S FIFTH ANNUAL ROCK AND ROLL CARNIVAL WILL REAR ITS UGLY HEAD AGAIN!!!! Who's gonna be there??! Oh, I dunno: JOHN DOE & EXENE CERVENKA? RANCID? THE BIRD AND THE BEE? Not satisfied yet? How about THE WRECKING CREW, who recorded every song you've ever heard ever (check out their documentary!) Still not enough? How about RICHARD CARPENTER, one half of the legendary "THE CARPENTERS"? Maybe you've heard of them? THE WARNING? NO AGE? DELUX? SHANE SPEAL, THE KING OF CIGARBOX GUITAR and HORACE PANTER (of The SPECIALS)??? DJ SETS FROM: SHEPARD FAIRY? DAN WILCOX? DJ LAWLESS? JANDISCO SOUND SYSTEM? WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! OH, and some other SPECIAL GUESTS…

So, yeah… it's gonna be a killer day for a great cause. All these great bands in a dude's backyard in Hancock Park, Los Angeles? You need to go to this. It's gonna be an epic day.

Tickets and information here