Driven by the fundamental belief that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music, the Playing For Change Foundation together with the support of Theatre Within have announced their plans to launch the POWER TO THE PEOPLE campaign.

Thanks to the generous support of Yoko Ono, the initiative seeks to advance John Lennon's vision of peace by raising awareness and funds to develop and sustain Playing For Change Foundation’s vital music education programs in schools around the globe. A portion of proceeds will also benefit Theatre Within’s mission to produce events to benefit important charities and social causes.

The campaign was announced last week as part of Theatre Within’s 30th Annual John Lennon Tribute concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The concert, which benefited Playing For Change Foundation, brought together a rare gathering of artists who came together to celebrate the life, music and creative spirit of John Lennon. The all-star lineup of performers spanned nearly four generations, ranging from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame music icons Jackson Browne and Patti Smith to acclaimed artists Cyndi Lauper, Aimee Mann, Keb’ Mo, Joan Osborne, Martin Sexton, and many others.

The POWER TO THE PEOPLE campaign aims to promote peace by engaging artists and audiences to contribute to music education programs on every continent. Proceeds raised will help build music schools, support teachers and music programs, purchase instruments, and connect schools for cross-cultural learning and conflict resolution across borders.

In addition to the Lennon Tribute concert, one of the campaign’s central events will be Playing For Change Day planned for May 7, 2011. During a single 24-hour period, professional musicians will join amateur performers at concerts, local events and grassroots gatherings around the globe to create a coordinated call to action to raise awareness and funds for music education programs in a unique one-day happening. At each event, audiences will be urged to make a text pledge or online donation.

“John Lennon’s message of advancing peace through music and activism continues to be an inspiration for millions,” said Whitney Kroenke, co-founder and executive director of the Playing For Change Foundation. “It is at the heart of Playing For Change Foundation’s mission. We and our partner Theatre Within are honored to have the blessing of Yoko Ono, and join music lovers around the world in shaping this unique and participatory campaign.”

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