GRiZ Annual Benefit Show Raises Funds for Detroit Children
Before Grant Kwiecinski headlined festivals with his saxophone-centric electronic music project GRiZ, he was just a kid from the suburbs of Detroit learning to play the instrument that would become his brand. Starting around 2014, Kwiecinski has helped raise over $ 300,000 to correct this, giving more musical training to the children of Detroit with his annual 12 Days of GRiZMAS event. The mini-festival – which ran from December 1-12 – covers the city with music exhibits, yoga, creation, Christmas carols, roller skating and that’s just the start, with perks from ticket sales and merchandise going to Seven Mile, a Detroit- based association that gives music, art and coding lessons to young people from underserved local communities.
“We ended up working with Seven Mile Music because their founder had lived in Brightmoor for three years and taught music himself,” says Kwiecinski. “He worked in the community, worked with community leaders and went door to door giving piano lessons. Seven Mile did the job to figure out what the community needed. This is exactly the kind of energy that we want to align ourselves with.
“I started playing the saxophone in elementary school, because my school had state funding to provide us with this education,” says Kwiecinski. “But not everyone has this opportunity.”
The GRiZMAS hub is a 900 square foot retail space in downtown Detroit that is made available through an annual donation from commercial real estate company Bedrock Detroit. There, Kwiecinski and his main collaborators Jared Berman and Harrison Diskin – Kwiecinski’s friends since childhood – and former co-director Kathryn Griffin turn the empty storefront into a winter wonderland, selling a wide range of GRiZMAS products, from coffee to clothes. This year, the store averaged $ 15,000 in sales per day. The space also welcomes the community of volunteers who support the event. “I met a woman who drove eight hours from Kentucky just to participate,” Kwiecinski says.
“My great hope is that what we’re doing here motivates people to do it their way,” says Kwiecinski. “If you’re traveling first class to play shows and collect bags, but you’re not doing anything to help your community, you have to take care of it. “
This community grew in 2020, when GRiZMAS went online during the pandemic and raised $ 120,000 with live events. “It’s a regional charity,” Kwiecinski explains, “so I was impressed that people were there to help, even though Detroit might not be in their backyard. This year, with security protocols in place, GRiZMAS once again culminated with a series of GRiZ performances at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. From local kid to international headliner, the goal is to inspire both Detroit’s youth and his global peers.
Summary of the news:
- GRiZ Annual Benefit Show Raises Funds for Detroit Children
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