Hallmark Applies Creative Talents to Benefit Music Students

Sep 18, 2019 12:05 PM ET
Hallmark artists transform an unplayable violin

Hallmark artists used their creative talents on an unusual medium: broken and unplayable musical instruments. 

Artists turned unwanted instruments into unique works of art, helping to raise more than $25,000 at the fifth annual Art That Blows event and auction. 

The event benefits Band of Angels, a Kansas City-based nonprofit partnership between local music store Meyer Music and FOX4 Kansas City. Band of Angels collects donated musical instruments, restores them to playing condition and distributes them to Kansas City children who want to study music but don’t have access to an instrument due to cost. Band of Angels has donated more than 1,000 instruments to disadvantaged students in 60 school districts within a 100-mile radius of Kansas City. 

Event proceeds from Art That Blows also fund scholarships for summer music camp to further music education beyond the classroom, providing one-on-one instructor attention that is not available in larger classes during the school year.

“Supporting Art That Blows was a natural fit for us because it combines creativity with giving back to our community, both of which Hallmark is passionate about,” said Darren Abbott, senior vice president — creative, Hallmark and a Band of Angels board member. “We were thrilled to host artist workshops for this event so that Hallmark employees could contribute to this worthy cause,” he said. 

The workshops were a result of Hallmark’s #my5days program, which allows the Hallmark creative community five work days doing whatever they please throughout the year to gain new perspective, creative renewal and inspiration. During the five-year history of the event, nearly 100 Hallmark artists have given damaged and unplayable instruments a new life, creating one-of-akind treasures with repurposed pieces of clarinets, flutes, saxophones and other instruments.

“Many of our artists use their talents and #my5days for the greater good to benefit local community partners,” said Sabrina Wiewel, senior vice president — customer development, Hallmark Greetings. “These artists chose to contribute to this cause, taking otherwise unwanted materials and creating something new and beautiful: wonderful works of art.” 

Read more in Hallmark’s Caring in Action Social Responsibility Report.