We all know that music brings people together—just head to any Levitt venue during concert season and you’ll see people of all ages and backgrounds dancing, picnicking and enjoying free, live music under the stars.
But what happens when music pushes people apart?
That’s what Johnathan Chen, founder and CEO of nonprofit record label OneReasonRecordings, experienced when he moved from Texas to New York City in 2012. Although he saw homeless people nearly everywhere he went (there are over 60,000 in the city), he noticed that few passerby ever reached out to those most in need. Since many of these commuters were wearing headphones, Chen assumed music was making social issues easier to ignore.
Inspired, Chen, then a freshman at NYU, founded OneReasonRecordings (ORR), with the mission to promote music as a tool to combat social problems. Continue reading