Making Beautiful Music With Community-Driven Partnerships


Henry donahue is the executive director of save the music a national nonprofit that helps students schools and communities reach their full potential through the power of making music prior to save the music. Henry was the ceo and head of partnerships at purpose a digital strategy and creative agency that focuses on social impact projects. Notable clients included every town for gun safety the aclu oxfam international. The ford foundation nike. I- kia audi and liverpool f c. Henry has also worked as a media. Executive focused on digital product development is held senior positions at discover conde nast primedia and lendingtree dot com spent most of the nineteen nineties on the road across the usa as a fundraiser for political candidates including us senators. Jay rockefeller from west virginia. And ron wyden from oregon at the same time. He was playing guitar in an indie rock band and running into small independent record label. Henry has an abbey in american history from harvard college and an mba from darden graduate school of business at the university of virginia henry. Great to have you with us. Sharing the story of save the music and the lessons contained within the be here could see joe thanks. Hey i'm delighted to have you. So why don't we start sharing with our listeners. The origin story of save the music. What was the germ of its mission and tell us a little bit about the journey. Yeah i mean safe. The music's mission and vision are the same today as they were back. joni urine. John sykes aretha franklin one. Dvd's categories aretha flying sleep dion and Every student every public schools should be making music as part of their education. I think you had a great overview of why at the intro. We know for decades of research that when schools have music students do better. The school does better. The community does better In normal times. I travel all around the country even in the toughest schools when you get to that band room or that choir room. You know. it's that joy and inspiration and hope for the future and all those things. So i i love going to high schools middle schools elementary schools. I love interacting advanced features van kits. It's amazing the landscape out there. Is that most schools in the. Us do have music as part of their school day. there's a quote for geoffrey canada That i'm sure i'm angling but it's something to the effect of if you wanna see what a quality education looks like. Look what rich people do about. Eighty percent of american schools have music and art as part of their school day And the programs that caught over the years. And we're we do. Most of our work are in schools that serve black students immigrant students and in rural rural students as well. What do you love about your job. Henry donahue because you loved this i love so it you you mentioned. I mean i've worked in politics and advocacy and social impact in various ways for for a long time You know at purpose Which some of your listeners might be familiar with worked on gun safety. We worked on marriage. Equality we worked on A project involving immigrants and You know the fight for the fifteen dollars minimum wage. All of which were were were deeply deeply satisfying. But when chris mccarthy who's the guy runs. mtv now came to me in we had this conversation about the h. one. Save the music which five six years ago you know still had a very solid sort of core group of program team people working there doing amazing work but has sort of been what i call know an orphan corporate asset on. Cbs empire. You know. I was presented with the opportunity to do the thing that i did for my job. Which was you know corporate impact strategy advocacy and combined with the thing that i spent my whole life in love with which which is music. Which by the way you. You don't have the benefit of seeing henry. But i do. And i see a keyboard. And i see a guitar so yeah. This is a music guy. You're a. You're a an advocate Andrew musician and you get to do both in the same job. That's pretty awesome. Yeah i think this is sort of at the core of was eighth. music does Which is i remember myself as a pretty angry and somewhat directionless

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