Since 2015 we have donated over $20,000 worth of music equipment repairs and donations to more than 20 music programs in Arizona.
And we are only getting started!
And we are only getting started!
There is a SERIOUS problem in the world these days: public school budgets are being slashed left and right which is forcing cornered administrators to abandon arts programs; particularly the music programs due to equipment costs & storage needs.
If we let this continue, in a few decades there will be fewer and fewer inspired young musicians and radio will be dominated by boring talk programming and engineered pop “hits”.
We refuse to live into that world!
We imagine a future where one can turn on the radio and still hear original music performed by authentic musicians.
Keep Children Rockin takes an official stand for youth music programs in schools. We provide donations to underfunded elementary and middle school music classrooms & other youth music programs.
…founder Paul Sokol became compelled to stand for youth music education in public schools. He saw the problem above and chose to do something about it.
Armed with nothing more than a dream of a heavy metal festival for charity, he quickly partnered up with Club Red owner (then lead sound engineer) Paul Benson to throw the first Dead Of Winter Fest at the beginning of 2015.
Shortly after, they brought a third partner into the mix: legendary music scene “father” Griffin Kolinski.
The rest is history…
The first Dead Of Winter Fest took place over January 2nd/3rd, 2015 with over 20 bands performing for the cause.
Even though this was the only first year, as a result of the show Keep Children Rockin was able to donate a set of handbells, two full boxes of reeds and a few bottles of valve oil to Whittier Elementary; the closest school to the club we could find.
Tragically, the world lost Griffin Kolinski shortly after the first Dead of Winter Fest. To ensure his memory lives on, the Dead of Winter Fest has an annual #ForTheFather award that is given to one band who represents the artistry of what Griffin stood for.
Despite this loss, the cause continued on. In 2015, Keep Children Rockin became a formal 501c3 non-profit with a founding board of Paul Sokol and John Odell (the guitarist from Sokol’s college band who is 100% behind the cause).
This time Keep Children Rockin was able to impact three music programs in the area.
From there, they continued to expand. In 2017 they did two shows: one in Phoenix and one in Tucson.
As a result of this set of 2017 shows, Keep Children Rockin expanded to impact music programs across two separate counties in Arizona.
…until 2020 where the show had evolved to a full-blown 3 city state tour and 2 day festival in Phoenix.
By this point over $15,000 worth of equipment repairs and donations had gone to nearly 20 music programs across the state of Arizona.
This includes donations to a music program on the native reservation and many “adult” instruments (guitars, amps, etc.) re-homed to Rock N Roll High School‘s music programs.
Keep Children Rockin was able to still make donations throughout 2021 as a result of donated equipment and a successful 2020 tour.
We find the best local bands for the venue. Sometimes, we do larger tours with multiple shows.
We find schools by the shows and see what their music programs need.
We get a list from the program involved of what they need, and do our best to meet those needs. We also re-home working music equipment to youth music programs.
When we receive an instrument, it gets a full tune up. In the past, we have partnered with local vendors to repair a whole classroom’s worth of equipment!