Michael DiMartino’s Great Cause

11 12 2009

We wanted to share with you some important information on a great cause we were alerted to after our post on Michael Di Martino last week.  Michael is collaborating with Marck Fedor to create some new original works on the heals of Michaels super successful ASL videos. Check it out and give generously.

Salsa.  Soul.  The Blues.  Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Punk.  Classical.  Jazz.  Jingles.  “now I know my ABCs” …. and Christmas Carols!    Imagine not knowing what these words really mean because you’ve never heard music before, like more than a million deaf Americans.

I’ve recently become aware of a uniquely talented American Sign Language interpreter who is helping to change this situation.  He creates “music videos” of popular songs using visual elements that evoke the tone, texture, beat, and mood of the music.  His name is Michael DiMartino, and he’s already something of a star among deaf communities.  Up until now, he has been financing the production of these videos out of his own pocket.  He uses a combination of hand signs, body movements, backgrounds, colors, and special effects to bring the music to life — with or without the volume controls.

Right now, he and Marck Adrian Fedor are raising $5,000 to record two original songs and produce two ASL videos to go along with them.  The idea is to create music primarily for the deaf, that people who hear will also enjoy.  There are no closed captions — they speak directly to special listeners.  Now imagine never hearing it, but knowing that someone is creating music for everyone including you, and in your own language for a change.  What a wonderful holiday gift that would be!

The cash for the project is being collected at a secure website called Kickstarter.com.  We’ve raised about $1,250 so far, in increments ranging from ten to one hundred dollars.  The project’s Kickstarter web address is http://tinyurl.com/y9h38qc.  Anyone can click on the link to sample Michael’s work, find out how Kickstarter works, see exactly how the money will be used — and pledge as little as $10 to help produce the music.  And for pledging less than it costs to go to the movies, you’ll get a gift as well.

In fact, only 375 people need to do just that: click on the link and donate ten bucks.  Unfortunately, if the entire $5,000 is not pledged by January 10, 2010, they won’t get anything at all.  Zip.  Nada.  But there is no budget to publicize this fundraiser.  Zero.  We have to rely on word of mouth.  So I’ve agreed to kick in some cash, and help spread the word.  It would mean a lot to me if you would do the same.  After making your pledge at Kickstarter, all you need to do is copy this letter to a new e-mail and send it to everyone on your e-mail list.  (or at least to as many as you feel comfortable with.)

BUT WE HAVE TO ACT FAST.  January 10th will be here way too soon, and if we’re just $10 short of the goal, those who have already pledged their ten, twenty five, or fifty dollars will be disappointed, as will everyone who’s talked or signed about this project so far.  Please do this today.  I don’t want my money back on January 11th.  I want these music videos to reach the deaf and hard of hearing, as I’m sure you will, too.

Thank you for your attention and your action.
http://tinyurl.com/y9h38qc

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