Video: Elev8 Youth Speak for Themselves on Capitol Hill

Public Interest Projects provides technical support to Elev8, a national effort to help students succeed in middle school and beyond. On April 22nd 2012, students from 20 Elev8 middle schools across the country filed into legislative office buildings surrounding the nation’s capitol, nervous but prepared to speak out on issues they had selected themselves, including school safety and funding for after school programs. The visit to Capitol Hill was part of a national Elev8 youth conference intended to build on what students had learned through their local Elev8 programs. Developing students as leaders through community service projects and advocacy training is a cornerstone of Elev8. Prior to the national trip, many students had already met with state and local legislators. Read more on Elev8′s website.

On Sale Now! “Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project,” Two-CD Set & Children’s Book

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If you missed the delightful concert and gala event in New York City on May 7th celebrating the release of “Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project,” you can get your very own copy of the CD and book here:

Public Interest Projects is proud to serve as the fiscal sponsor for the Broadway Lullaby Project. Public Interest Projects is a 501(c)(3) public charity with a 25 year history of providing fiscal sponsorship for projects working toward a society that ensures justice, dignity and opportunity for all people.


Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project is both a timeless benefit effort and a uniquely compelling multimedia experience. The ambitious project—which incorporates a two-CD, 26-song set; a lavishly illustrated hardcover book of 17 songs from the album; a corresponding e-book encompassing the entire collection; and a documentary film—gathers many of contemporary musical theatre’s greatest composers and vocalists, as well as illustrators, all of whom have donated their talent to deliver an emotionally affecting set of new lullabies, some written specifically for this project. The project will raise money for such respected breast cancer charities as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Young Survival Coalition.

Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project‘s roster of world-class vocalists features some of Broadway’s most respected and popular performers, includingAnastasia BarzeeMichael CerverisVictoria ClarkRaul EsparzaSutton FosterBrian D’Arcy JamesRebecca LukerKelli O’HaraDonna MurphyAnika Noni Rose and Vanessa Williams.

The stellar assortment of singers is matched by the original contributions of such esteemed composers as Rupert Holmes, Tom Kitt, Henry Krieger with Bill Russell,  Bobby Lopez with Kristen Anderson Lopez, Jill Santoriello with John Patrick Shanley, Stephen Schwartz, David Shire, and Nona Hendryx with Marva Hicksand Charles Randolph-Wright.

Meanwhile, the project’s book component also features a distinctive cover illustration by fabled cartoonist/playwright Jules Feiffer, along with a foreword written by stage and screen legend Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton. Among the illustrators lending their talents are R. Gregory ChristieRichard EgileskiBetsy Lewin, Anna LouizosMarc SimontNeil WaldmanTony Walton, and Paul O. Zelinsky.

The project has been documented in the form of a short film that tells the story of the Broadway Lullaby Project from conception to completion. Through interviews and rare behind-the-scenes footage, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentarian Barbara Rick and Out of The Blue Films, Inc. chronicle the inspiration, rehearsals, recording sessions, and artistic processes of many of Broadway’s brightest stars, world-renowned jazz musicians, and our most-loved illustrators—all united to combat breast cancer through the comfort and beauty of music and art.

Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project is the product of the passion and dedication of the album’s co-producers, Kate Dawson and Jodi Glucksman, both veterans of New York’s theatre community.

It was Dawson, a versatile singer, actor, and writer with extensive Broadway and off-Broadway experience as well as an acclaimed one-woman show to her credit, who initiated the project. When she became pregnant with her first child in 2010, Dawson’s thoughts turned to her cousin Jill, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2006 at the age of 45.

Dawson spoke to many friends about the idea, including Jodi Glucksman, a respected playwright and dramaturge who had been profoundly affected by breast cancer: When she was 14, she lost her grandmother to the disease. Her mother and mother-in-law are both survivors, and her sister-in-law is a breast cancer surgeon.  Moved by the project’s philanthropic and creative goals, she signed on as co-producer.

“It’s nearly impossible to think of anyone who hasn’t been affected by this disease,” Glucksman observes. “Nearly everyone we contacted seemed to have been touched by it. So the concept really resonated with people, and seeing how people responded propelled us to get more ambitious and expand the scope of the project.”

The idea for a children’s book of illustrated lyrics seemed a natural companion to a collection of lullabies.  That’s when Barbara Aronica, a lifelong friend of Glucksman’s, got involved.” Aronica is an award-winning book designer with more than three decades of experience; she is also a cancer survivor. Aronica, in turn, enlisted veteran publishing executive David Wilk, who signed on to publish the book. Together they created a dream list of illustrators and set about soliciting contributions from them.

The Broadway Lullaby Project moved to another level when Glucksman and Dawson decided that noted jazz producer Matt Pierson was the right person to oversee the recording process. “In addition to providing a chance to work with such an exciting array of distinctive vocalists, it was a chance to be involved in an important cause,” Pierson states. “My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so this was a wonderful opportunity to show my support.”

Pierson worked closely with the singers to maintain the album’s intimate focus. The resulting album marks a historic convergence of inspired music and an inspiring cause, making The Broadway Lullaby Project a one-of-a-kind classic that will speak eloquently to listeners of all ages.

“We wanted to create something that would be soothing for children but also engaging for adults,” Dawson observes. “These lullabies are about the love between parents and children, and it’s a unique way of expressing that love. So we hope that it will be something that families can enjoy together.”

Glucksman concludes: “My mother is the creator of the annual Unsung Hero Award, which honors a non-related friend who offers extraordinary support to someone undergoing treatment for breast cancer. In a way, my involvement in this project is my Unsung Hero Award for my mother, who is the most extraordinary woman I know.”

For more information about Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project, contact Regina Joskow ( or Gaby Alvarez ( at the Missing Piece Group, 862-234-0801.


Public Interest Projects to Host Donor Learning Institute September 27 and 28, 2012 in New York City


Social Justice Philanthropy in Tough Times:

Strategic Impact Through Collaboration, Capacity and Alliances

Every significant social justice issue we care about is playing itself out in a charged political moment of “states rights,” major Supreme Court rulings, a sluggish economy, assaults on civil liberties and Democratic values, changing tax codes, and election year rhetoric. Welcome to the new normal for foundations.

It’s time to take stock of social justice philanthropy and look to the future for effective strategies, inspiration and hope.

Join Public Interest Projects September 27 and 28 in NY (location to be determined) as it hosts “Social Justice Philanthropy in Tough Times: Strategic Impact Through Collaboration, Capacity and Alliances.” This two-day learning institute will offer funders the latest intelligence on effective capacity building, alliance building and strategic communications. Special focus will be placed on the South – ground zero of a convergence of political and cultural factors presenting formidable challenges to grantees and funders. Provocative speakers will offer practical models, expert training and case studies in a high-engagement, super-interactive setting. The Institute promises rich opportunities for donor learning, brainstorming and strategizing.

“Now is a critical moment for donors who wrestle with social justice philanthropy to meet some of the best thinkers and explore partnering within and across our institutions,” said Berta Colón and Michele Lord, Public Interest Projects presidents. “This is a new era of philanthropy in which we can support innovative models of funder and advocate collaboration.”

Mark your calendars for September 27 and 28 in New York City. Details will follow. Contact Cathy Block at Public Interest Projects for more information and to sign up to attend:

Jacksonville to Expand Restorative Justice to All Middle and High Schools

 At the recent Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE) assembly – with over 2000 community leaders representing nearly 40 congregations – Duval County Public Schools (FL) officials agreed to expand restorative justice projects to all middle and high schools district-wide. Later, justice and judiciary officials agreed to eventually expand a neighborhood-based restorative justice program throughout the County. Read more on this and other examples of public officials committing to smarter school discipline throughout the country in the latest Just and Fair Schools Fund newsletter.

The U.S. Human Rights Fund at Public Interest Projects Launches New Website

The U.S. Human Rights Fund at Public Interest Projects has launched a new website about how to use human rights values, standards and strategies to secure racial justice.  Please visit

The content for the site was generated at Using Human Rights to Achieve Racial Justice: We Shall Overcome, a convening the Fund hosted in November 2011. The meeting brought together more than 150 advocates, funders, artists, and journalists from across the U.S. to explore how human rights principles and mechanisms can be used to help achieve racial justice.

The website is the result of the conversations, insights, and models explored during the convening. It encompasses best practices in racial justice and human rights organizing, advocacy, litigation and communications.  Those interested in the intersection of human rights and racial profiling, disproportionate sentencing and over-incarceration of people of color, harsh immigration enforcement practices, voter suppression, and related issues will find the site particularly interesting.


Please Join Public Interest Projects this Monday, May 7th for a FREE concert hosted by Edie Falco celebrating the release of “Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project.”

This free concert celebrates the release of Over The Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project, a multi-media charity project that includes a two-CD set of original lullabies composed and sung by Broadway’s brightest stars, a lavishly-illustrated hardcover book of 17 songs from the album, a corresponding e-book encompassing the entire collection, and a documentary film.The project gathers many of contemporary theater’s greatest composers and vocalists, as well as award- winning illustrators and set designers, all of whom donated their talent to this endeavor.  The project will raise money for respected breast cancer charities such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Young Survival Coalition. Public Interest Projects is proud to serve as the fiscal sponsor for the Broadway Lullaby Project.Click here for tickets:


The Labor/Community Strategy Center wins a Los Angeles daytime curfew amendment

PIP Supports Community Leadership for Smart School Discipline.                                                                                                           Public Interest Projects sponsors the Just and Fair Schools Fund (JFSF), which supports grassroots organizing initiatives that work to eliminate harsh school discipline policies and practices – and that uphold the right to education for all youth.  Through this donor collaborative initiative, PIP invests in authentic community leadership – among students, parents, grandparents, and congregations – that is turning the tide on school discipline across the country.  Here, youth leaders from JFSF partner The Labor/Community Strategy Center win historic reforms in Los Angeles for smart, effective, and fair school discipline.