UCSC Common Ground Center Hosts Music, Media, Activism, and Aloha!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 24, 2013

PRESS CONTACT – David Shaw, (831) 207-4206, daveshawlistens@gmail.com

Slack key guitar player Makana and TEDxMaui founder Katie McMillan to speak at UCSC’s Common Ground Center about the power of art and digital media to impact social change

SANTA CRUZ, October 24, 2013 – The UCSC Common Ground Center is hosting an evening presentation featuring Hawaii-based slack key guitar player Makana and TEDxMaui founder Katie McMillan, who will share their experiences on the power of art and digital media to impact social change. From the tactical to the visionary, this is an opportunity to learn from two individuals who have merged their desire to create a better world into their life’s work. What have they learned? What are the challenges and risks? Where are the opportunities and gifts? How can you build a successful career with a social mission?

Described as “dazzling” by the New York Times, Makana is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, singer, and composer who is widely known for lending his musical talent for social change. When he was asked to play for President Obama and other world leaders at an APEC World Leaders’ Dinner, he saw it not only as an opportunity to showcase his musical talent but also as an opportunity to get a powerful message to world leaders. His plan resulted in major media coverage from outlets such as CNN and Yahoo and became the #1 news story on Yahoo worldwide for two days. Through his music, he galvanized a community hungry for social change. In 2011, at the apex of the “Occupy” movement, Makana’s song We Are the Many went viral on YouTube, garnering more than half a million views and was coined the “Occupy Anthem” by Rolling Stone magazine. His sound, while rooted in the tradition of Hawaiian slack key guitar, encompasses multiple genres to include folk, pop, world, and his own unique style coined “slack rock.” With music ranging from Hawaiian classics to sexy love ballads to songs of resistance, Makana is not only keeping Hawaii’s musical traditions alive–he’s evolving them.

Katie McMillan founded TEDxMaui, and along with a small team has produced two very successful events that have been seen by over a million viewers. Not only have two TEDxMaui talks been selected for TED.com, the event has also inspired local residents to launch numerous innovative businesses. Perhaps, the most exciting result is that it has inspired local youth to dream big and share their ideas. The first TEDxMauiYouth event will take place in April 2014.

Following the conversation with Makana and Katie McMillan, Makana will perform a few songs from his new album Ripe.

The event is sponsored by UCSC’s Common Ground Center at Kresge College. The mission of the Common Ground Center is to “create cultural change for social justice, environmental regeneration and economic viability”. The Center hosts a series of public lectures and workshops based on this mission, as well as undergraduate courses, two themed residence halls, and a range of student-led activities. A list of subsequent talks, and more information, can be found at kresge.ucsc.edu/commonground.

“Music, Media, Activism, and Aloha! with Hawaiian Musician Makana and TEDxMaui Founder Katie McMillan” is Monday, November 4, 2013, 5 – 7 PM, at the UCSC Kresge Seminar Room #159. It is free and open to the public. Parking is $3 in the Core West Parking Garage. More parking information is online at http://kresge.ucsc.edu/commonground/about/parking.html

Common Ground Center, Email: commonground@ucsc.edu

Web: http://kresge.ucsc.edu/commonground

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/commongroundcenter

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/532812396787407/

Posted in _Excerpt, California Student Sustainability Coalition Magazine.