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Musicians Offer Their Voices -- And Their Pennies -- To Fight Homelessness

BANDS, SINGERS SIGN-ON TO SUPPORT THE BILL AND PENNY DRIVE LA, WHICH RAISES FUNDS TO SUPPORT REHABILITATIVE ARTS PROGRAMMING -- EVENT TO BE HELD ON OCTOBER 19TH, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 24, 2104) – Los Angeles-based musicians are putting up their hands to support The Bill and Penny Drive LA, an annual one-day ‘spare change’ drive that raises funds for highly effective, rehabilitative arts programming for homeless individuals. Hosted by Hollywood venue Space 15 Twenty on October 19th, the drive requests participants to donate their saved-up pennies and dimes to skid row-based non-profit Lamp Community, which runs the arts programs. In exchange for their donations, participants are treated to art displays and a mini concert featuring a mix of Blues, Folk, Punk & Rock. This year’s lineup includes Sunny War, Lookin’ for Trouble, and Mark Catalano, who supported the drive last year.

Catalano credits the Drive’s good cause and “fun and unique” vibe for his return. He says, “I'm happy to [participate] again this year because I thought it went very well last time. I'm looking forward to it!”

Asked why Lookin’ for Trouble is participating, Greg Conte, speaking for the group, explains, “Lookin’ For Trouble tries to help in as many charities as we can. We feel our talents are a gift, and those gifts should be used to benefit others in need—and we are certainly happy to do so!”

For singer Sunny War, the willingness to participate in the Drive is more personal. Homeless for many years, War firmly believes that music helped save her life. Recalling her transition from living on the streets to a sober living program, War says, “The only thing that kept me from getting high was my guitar. If I didn't have music I'd probably still be on the streets or dead. That's why I fully support and believe in empowering the homeless with the arts.”

Lamp’s Art Program does just that. Led by community arts advocate Hayk Makhmuryan, the program provides participants with training and technical support in multiple forms of media. But more than simply providing an opportunity to develop skills and technique, the Art Project plays a central role in the recovery and stability of numerous clients.

Mental health professionals widely recognize that artistic expression can enhance the well-being and livelihood of men and women living with mental illness while also serving as a bridge to other clinical and supportive services. In past years, more than 70% of Art Project participants have shown increased use of mental health services, which in turn leads to increased wellness and self-sufficiency.

For War, Catalano, and Lookin’ for Trouble, that’s a cause worth singing about.

The Bill and Penny Drive LA will take place on October 19, 2014, 3-6 PM, 
at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles, CA  90028).
Regular updates on Twitter @LAPennyDrive and Facebook.com/BillandPennyDriveLA

LAMP Community ends homelessness of Los Angeles' most vulnerable individuals through a continuum of services and housing.  They are noted for having one of the highest success rates for ending homelessness. More at http://www.lampcommunity.org/

EVENT CONTACT: Elizabeth Nakano, Co-Organizer
P: 323-412-0726 / E: billandpennydrive@gmail.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Tammy Lynn, Spotlight PR Company
P: 310-867-1952 / E: Spotlight@SpotlightPRcompany.com

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