Cause Celeb highlights a celebrity’s work on behalf of a specific cause. This week, we speak with Daniel Balk, guitarist and lead singer of New York City pop-rock band The Postelles, about his work with Music Unites, a nonprofit organization that strives to bring the joy of music to underprivileged children in inner-city schools.
Interview by Rich Dally III, NBC News
Intro by Jesse Strauch
Q. Could you tell us about your charity and what you’re doing to help?
Balk: We’re working with this charity group called Music Unites. What they do is bring music to schools that aren’t fortunate to have music programs. It’s pretty amazing to give the kids who wouldn’t have a chance to have instruments and learn the old-way style of actually learning instruments. We were lucky enough to grow up having the opportunity to play music with great programs and it’s nice to have other people have the same opportunity.
Q. What was it that made you want to get involved with this charity?
Balk: We didn’t know about the charity until they sort of came to us. Being in New York, we started meeting all these people. Every night you go out you meet a hundred people and they all have an agenda of some sort — “I’m doing a movie” or “I want you to meet this person who is in a band.” They were (Music Unites) just a group of people that we all came about.
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Michelle Edgar, that’s the person who runs it, said I have this charity that brings music to schools. She explained the whole thing and it was actually a nice change to see someone who was doing something for someone else. It was just nice to hear. And for us being in a band it struck home. We wanted to help out. Plus, it was an opportunity to play some shows and know that we’re helping somebody. It feels good.
Q. Why do you believe it is important to encourage involvement in the arts?
Balk: It’s incredibly important. I feel that a lot of kids, especially in this country, they get roped into "you only have a few options of things you can do with your life." You know it’s got to be a 9-to-5 job and it’s got to be at a factory or in an office space somewhere. And that to me is sad. I hope that kids will have the opportunity, and hopefully Music Unites will help out.
Every one should be creative. They don’t have to center their lives around being songwriters or being artists or painters but I think it’s nice to have the opportunity to say, “Hey, maybe that’s something I would like to do.” It’s not wrong to go down that path, it’s not taboo. Hopefully that’s Music Unites' goal for that.
Q. Is there anything you would like to add?
Balk: Just check out Music Unite, it’s a really great charity. If you’re in New York they put on a lot of events all the time so keep a look out, they’re really cool.
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