The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front and Center: Music For Good Founder, Laura Ferreiro
After working as a music journalist and contributing to the L.A. Times, Variety, LA Weekly, NME, Rolling Stone, Spinner, Under the Radar, Nylon, IGN.com, and Yahoo!, and being a marketing communications consultant for nonprofit organizations, Laura Ferreiro founded Music for Good.
By spotlighting musicians and the causes they support, Music for Good allows visitors to discover artists who are actively advocating charities, nonprofits and other organizations. For readers wishing to get involved as well, the site provides information on how give aid and support to these worthy causes.
WiMN: Tell us about your background. What led to Music for Good?
LF: I’m a music journalist and I’ve also done a lot of nonprofit marketing and communications work. Those are my passions and the things I love most. I’ve always wanted to find a way to combine the two. Music for Good has enabled me to do that. We want music fans to know about the good causes that musicians are supporting. Artists can be a really powerful mouthpiece for getting important messages out while helping to raise awareness for causes that could really use support. With Music for Good, I want to shine a light on some of the really important work that’s being done and give bands a chance to engage.
WiMN: That’s a great idea. Are there some ways readers can get involved through Music For Good?
LF: Absolutely. In each story we include links where readers can get involved. Right now we’re working on an article about Pussy Riot and Amnesty International. They’re doing a campaign to support the band to try to get the members out of jail. You can sign petitions on their website or purchase a book where all profits go directly to the band’s defense fund. There are lots of opportunities to get involved at the site, whether it’s volunteering in your community or buying a ticket to a really cool concert that supports a nonprofit.
WiMN: Can you tell us about M4G?
LF: I just launched M4G, the consulting arm of Music For Good, a couple of months ago. What we do is pair up brands with bands to do profile-raising campaigns that also support nonprofits. We encourage the brand to donate a percentage of sales proceeds to a nonprofit that the band and the brand mutually agree upon.
I can tell you something I’m working on right now, actually. There’s a wonderful guitar strap and purse company called Copperpeace who are based in L.A. The owner is a huge advocate of music and arts education. I was able to line up Copperpeace with a nonprofit called Little Kids Rock. We’re going to do an auction and performance in March to support National Music In Schools Month, and I’m working on getting some big name musicians to model the straps.
I’ve actually had quite a few meetings over the last month and a half with consumer brands, ranging from musical instruments to stainless steel water bottles. There are so many brands that could benefit from the support of musicians. I think a lot of them are becoming aware that it’s important to give back to the community.
WiMN: This brings to mind SXSW, where you see a lot of mainstream consumer brands pairing with artists. The idea of having the charitable element with Music for Good is like that third piece of the puzzle.
LF: Yes, that’s the heart and soul of the operation. It’s the unique value proposition that we offer. It’s interesting because there are studies that have been done showing that consumers are more loyal or are more likely to support brands that do give back. I think a lot of consumers are really aware of that nowadays, which I think is great!
WiMN: Can you talk about your background as a journalist?
LF: Sure. I’ve been a journalist for many years. I was the West Coast editor for NME, the British music magazine, for about three years. I’m also a freelancer, writing for Variety, L.A. Times, and L.A. Weekly, among others. I started off as a features writer for a daily paper in Riverside, Calif., and as time went on, I gravitated more towards music because I love it so much. I’m not a musician, but I’m a huge music lover! I also worked doing writing and communications for nonprofits during that time. I’ve always made a point to ask artists about what causes they’re involved in. However, I found that when writing for major outlets, It was pretty rare that I could go into great depths about the causes. It might be a paragraph in an article and that would be about it.
Over the years I amassed a number of contacts, so I am able to get Music For Good access to artists like the legendary Kris Kristofferson. I got to talk to him about his work supporting United Farm Workers, and about landing a helicopter on Johnny Cash’s front lawn! Really amazing stuff. I also featured Switchfoot, who put on a huge music and surf festival. This year they gave back to a charity that supports runaway youth. They really got into depth about why they want to support the charity and what motivates them. I love being a journalist and uncovering these stories. It’s really fun and inspiring for me because we’re able to talk about so much more than just their latest album.
WiMN: Thanks for answering these questions, Laura! It’s wonderful that you have a vehicle to bring about awareness for nonprofits with Music for Good. It must feel really great!
LF: Thanks, I do really enjoy it, and thank you!
Read more about Ferreiro and Music For Good at musicforgood.tv.