Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rex on the Air

Rex Foundation executive director Sandy Sohcot spoke with California PTA president Carol Kocivar in an interview that aired Tuesday, March 9 on KALW FM. Sandy talks about Rex's The World As It Could Be project and the impact it's having on the lives of local high school students who participate.

Listen to the interview on the Rex Web site!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Make Believe Ball

The Rex Foundation produced our first Make Believe Ball February 18, 2010 at the GreaPublish Postt American Music Hall in San Francisco. The Make Believe Ball spawned from an idea by board member Tim Duncan who collaborated with board member Dawn Holliday to arrange for the replay of the infamous 1975 Grateful Dead Blues for Allah record release party later released as One From The Vault. The term Make Believe Ball is attributed to the taper who named his audience tapes of that evening "The Make Believe Ball".

The Make Believe Ball, reproduced on the state of the art sound system at the Great American Music Hall included the serendipity that Lee, the sound board operator, was the same person who did the sound for the original show in 1975.

Hopefully there will be more to follow, perhaps in a city near you!

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Friday, December 18, 2009

New Skills, New Lives

The Bread Project in the San Francisco Bay Area is a Rex grantee working to provide job skills in the culinary field to adults who have trouble finding work--and along the way, life skills to help them achieve the goals they once thought impossible. The program's been so successful that the Project has been forced to turn many eligible students away, but an upcoming expansion to larger headquarters will allow it to train even more.

Recently we heard from Bread Project Executive Director Dagmar Schroeder-Huse, who shared a few of the program's success stories. We were delighted to read them--and happy to share this example of the good work the Rex community makes possible.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals Join Rex Music Caravan

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals graciously supported the Rex Foundation by joining the Music Caravan with a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco. They also attended the Rex pre-concert reception greeting fans and enthralling board members with their open minds and kindness. Grace Potter is one of the sweetest musicians we have met in years. Rex board members thanked Grace for her participation, but it was the Rex Foundation who Grace thanked for allowing her and the Nocturnals to be involved. As a young band on the road establishing their audience, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals appreciated the opportunity to associate with a well established organization like the Rex Foundation. They realize and acknowledge the valuable support Rex Foundation provides to grassroots efforts that have continued making a difference in the world. It was wonderful to meet these talented musicians and even more fun to discover and experience their music live! Thank you Grace Potter and The Nocturnals for stepping on board the Rex Music Caravan. We appreciate being associated with you.

For more information and photos go to the Rex website for A Little Night Music for Rex.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Rex grant keeps giving in Africa

Rex Foundation provided Burners Without Borders a grant in November 2009. Burners Without Borders is a service group of individuals who are Burners, a sub-culture like Dead Heads. Instead of attending Grateful Dead shows, or jamband shows, the Burners work year round on the Burning Man project held every summer in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, 130 miles north of Reno. Some Burners are in fact also Dead Heads and presumably attend jamband shows.

Burners Without Borders was founded at Burning Man in 2005 during the onslaught of hurricane Katrina and consequent destruction in New Orleans and Mississippi. A call throughout the Burning Man event was intitiated to raise money and send a crew of Burners with heavy equipment to help as an act of kindness and civic engagement. Burners Without Borders has since conducted further acts of kindness and civic-minded engagement to assist throughout the world on various projects where the government or local authorities have either failed, or are reluctant to provide assistance.

Two days after receiving the Rex grant, Burners Without Borders' executive director, Carmen Mauk, received a request from a Burner working in Africa named Will Ruddick. Will is assisting citizens in Kenya with their cultural art of fire spinning. The project is called the Moto-moto Circus. The Kenyan troup had been invited by the Kenya National Museums Counsel to a three-day national festival in Lamu, Kenya, to perform for three nights. They did not have the money to send ten people to Lamu let alone stay in another city for three days. Carmen worked out a budget of $500 which would allow the troupe to travel and stay in Lamu to perform their art. An unexpected serendipity; it has been learned that this trip will reunite a Kenyan mother and son who have not seen each other in many years.

The power of grassroots giving is powerful when people like Carmen and Will connect to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Rex Helps Shine a Little Light in Tanzania

Children born with disabilities or medical problems in remote villages of Tanzania face a bleak future, made worse by prejudice and poverty. Rex grantee Mwangaza Tanzania ("Mwangaza" means "beacon" in Swahili) seeks out these children and matches them with the best medical resources. They also conduct health education classes to address preventable diseases and medical problems. David Large recently had a conversation with Mwangaza founder/director Paula Gremley, which we're pleased to feature as our latest Food for Thought.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Renewal, Community and Conversation

Earlier this month, editor Mary Eisenhart and I sat down for a conversation about the rebirth of the Rex Foundation in 2001, our ongoing renewal, and our community of supporters. We hope you enjoy these video clips and find them informative, and we invite you to share your thoughts and comments here!

--Sandy Sohcot

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