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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Yellow Bird Project – When Music, Fashion & Charity Collide
Saturday, April 05, 2008

What do Rilo Kiley, Wolfmother and The Shins all have in common? Well, in addition to being three of the most talked about bands around, they’re also all philanthropic fashion designers thanks to partnerships with Yellow Bird Project. According to Matthew Stotland, co-founder of Yellow Bird Project, “the hope is that we can in some way help artists prosper and in turn help those less fortunate.”

This noble initiative was started in 2006 by Stotland and longtime friend Casey Cohen. The duo had the ingenious idea to have artists create t-shirts and then choose a charity for all the proceeds from sales to go to. There was only one problem, neither of them had any connections in the music industry. Stotland remembers, “all we had was this desire and the feeling that musicians would appreciate this project and want to join.” He was right.

Devendra Banhart was the first artist to create a shirt for Yellow Bird Project and Stotland knew that first design was all he and Cohen needed to get the ball rolling. He notes, “once we got Devendra the other bands seemed to recognize our legitimacy.” Eric Johnson of The Shins recently collaborated with Yellow Bird Project on a t-shirt and, according to Stotland, in a perfect illustration of how quickly the idea has spread, “even before Yellow Bird Project approached him he already owned the Devendra shirt.”

The individual charities that each artist chooses are thrilled when they find out about the project. Karrah R. Lompa, Executive Director of Free Arts for Abused Children, remembers when she first found out Rilo Kiley had chosen her group for their t-shirt proceeds to go to. The news came in the form of “a VERY generous donation made via our website,” which she says was “a total surprise.”

Above all, Stotland says the one thing Yellow Bird Project revolves around is the idea of giving. “We give our free time, people in the Yellow Bird Project community give in whatever capacity they can, and in the end we all give to charities and people that really need our help.”

That’s one ideology that sounds good no matter who’s on lead vocals.

Related Links

Yellow Bird Project: yellowbirdproject.com

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