For the 50th Anniversary Grateful Dead shows in Santa Clara and Chicago, HeadCount is organizing a Participation Row Non-Profit Village to highlight the last half-century of Dead-affiliated philanthropy. It will be a lot like Shakedown Street, if you replace grilled cheeses and veggie burritos with ways to change the world.
Each of the 17 non-profit organizations on Participation Row will have four limited edition Fare Thee Well postcards to hand out. The art on the cards has truly blown me away, no joke these are Europe 72 Dark Star good. I am going to collect all four, frame them, and put them on a wall once this summer ends and I find a living space more permanent than a canvass tent in a festival field.
Three of these collector’s items were designed by longtime Grateful Dead artists (Jeff Troldahl, Una Toibin, Mike DuBois) and one by a newcomer (Jessica Muessen) who decorated an awesome ticket request envelope that instantly went viral. I can’t say this enough, but the coolest thing about these postcards is that we will be giving them out FOR FREE!
To receive a postcard, we ask Deadheads to take one of seventeen different actions related to the non-profits at the row. One postcard per action. Four actions, you get em’ all. Take eight, and you have a set for a friend.
Here’s what I’m talking about… To get a postcard from Love Hope Strength, get your cheeks swabbed and join the National Bone Marrow Registry. One swab can save a life.
While you’re in the life-saving mood, visit Unbroken Chain, a non-profit affiliated with a bassist you might have heard of named Phil Lesh. You know his “Organ Donor Rap”? Well if you say those familiar words (“If anything ever happens to me…”) at the UBC table, you get a postcard!
You can also stop by the Seva Foundation and learn about how to restore eyesight to someone with treatable blindness. Seva was founded by Wavy Gravy so if you wear a clown nose while chatting with them I bet they will give you a high five.
Then you can stop by Hidden Wings and bang a special drum to raise awareness about those with autism. Hidden Wings is a Mickey Hart favorite and you can bet Mickey has banged that same drum a few times.
After you are done helping others you can help save our political system. Represent.US is asking you to use your social media outlets to shine a light on corruption in politics. HeadCount (that’s us) will give you a chance to update your voter registration, or stamp your money with a message to politicians, or download the iCitizen app, that lets you track your politicians and find out who is funding our legislator’s campaigns.
If you need a political fix with a little stronger buzz, stop by NORML and write to your legislators about legalizing marijuana.
Make sure to bring some good stories to the Fare Thee Well shows, because M.A.P.S. is using these shows to kick of their project to videotape and document people’s experiences with psychedelics. Eventually they will have a catalog of thousands of psychedelic experiences to change the way society thinks about mind altering substances.
The next awesome action can be taken with a group memorializing a man that facilitated millions of psychedelic experiences: the Owsley Stanley Foundation. All they are asking of you is to rank your favorite recordings. I bet many list the legendary Cornell ‘77 tape, but I’ll go with a show from ’74 to honor the Wall of Sound designed by the Bear himself. As you let those legendary recorded songs fill the air that is your memory, you can head to the Grateful Dead’s own non-profit the Rex Foundation. Rex is asking you to commit to volunteer at a local school or organization. Rex also gave early grants to many of the organizations of Participation Row, including us at HeadCount, so I’ll certainly give them a thanks. They started it all.
[For the record I wanted the Rex Foundation’s action to include defeating long-time Rex Advisory Board Member Bill Walton and Lithuanian Bronze Medalist and Rex grantee Sarunas Marciulionis in a game of 2 on 2, but after HeadCount Co-Founder Andy Bernstein and I took 15 trial attempts at this action without either of us scoring once, my dream action got nixed.]
After all those actions I bet you are a bit hungry, and that’s a perfect time to recognize those across the country and world with food insecurity. Conscious Alliance is running a food drive and delivering healthy foods to communities in crisis. They’ll even give you a special poster in addition to a postcard. The fine folks Oxfam are asking you to write letters to Congress to urge them to reform our food aid system. Those two sound like actions as delicious as a Chicago deep dish pizza.
Lastly, let’s talk about how to save our earth because I certainly don’t want the cold stillness enunciated in Morning Dew to overtake the only planet I’ve ever lived on. Our good friends at Rock the Earth will help you fill out a postcard (not decorated with skulls and roses) to mail to the EPA to let them know you care about protecting our environment. Surfrider will have a petition for you to sign to stop offshore drilling and keep our oceans as clean as a Jerry-lick from 1977. The Rainforest Action Network will help you join a movement to protect our rainforests, a cause very close to the Grateful Dead. (Some of my favorite Dead posters were ones designed to raise money for the Rainforest Action Network). REVERB will assist you in sending a picture or a text to a friend in support of America’s Clean Power Plan. Now the final action I’m sure is near and dear to Bill Kreutzmann’s heart and it’s to help H.A.P.A., a group based out of Billy’s beloved state of Hawaii, to protest the impacts of pesticides and GMOs on social media.
So those are 17 ways a Deadhead can save our world and society at Fare Thee Well. And remember if you do these things, you’ll be able to get beautiful art made by these beautiful people:
MICHAEL DUBOIS – mikedubois.net
The art of Michael DuBois has been described as visionary, surrealistic, and psychedelic, all of which fail to adequately describe his unique body of work. He is a pioneer of contemporary music art with commissions from the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd. Based in Woodstock, NY DuBois currently oversees Happylife Productions and DuBois Studios, does commission work, graphic design, and fine painting. His art reaches worldwide audiences through the licensing of his work for reproduction on concert t-shirts, prints, posters and other licensed products.
JEFF TROLDAHL – jeffsart.com
For over 25 years as a professional artist Jeff Troldahl has created unique brands and identities for clients ranging from rock festivals to Fortune 500 firms. He loves meeting new clients, taking on new challenges, and creating art that truly represents a brand’s message. Creativity and unusual projects are Jeff’s specialty. He is a multi-talented artist capable of designing stages, murals for children’s rooms, and custom paint jobs for anything from guitars to cars. If you’re looking for custom illustration, design, incomparable service, and timely delivery Jeff Troldahl Design, Inc. is your solution.
UNA TOIBIN – www.unatoibin.com
Una Toibin is a visual artist with a passion for detail, imagery, and vision. Her way of seeing is deeply rooted in her Irish heritage. She comes from a family of storytellers, writers, musicians, actors, and artisans, which also influence her art and design work. Una is a highly sought after graphic designer and illustrator known for her practice of deep listening. She creates art that reflects her clients’ spoken and unspoken desires in a timely fashion. Una’s ability to immerse and infuse herself with her subject matter leads to extraordinarily meaningful art.
JESSICA MUESSEN – www.facebook.com/tattoo.nouveau.MD?fref=ts
Creating art in the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland, Jessica has been working as a professional tattoo artist for the past 15 years. She has also been a fine arts painter for 20+ years and has recently added poster art to her itinerary. She recently garnered attention for her Grateful Dead mail order envelope that was in an Art Nouveau styling.