Producer and activist ASW launches Grooving For Good, a nonprofit college program that combines art and music with mental health advocacy
On Thursday, May 19, Grooving For Good kicks off at the University of Washington – hosted by student organization Pup Support, in partnership with Tommie Sunshine, SPIN Magazine, and the nation’s largest mental health nonprofit, NAMI Grooving For Good will host 400 students for an afternoon of free programming including an interactive panel discussion, painting and drawing session, and closing art showcase.
It’s been nearly a decade since singer-songwriter Alex Wagner was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was involuntarily detained in the mental health wing of a hospital. Since then, her difficult but inspiring years of recovery have manifested in her ASM producer project, which focuses on promoting conversations, awareness and advocacy for mental health through creative mediums.
After serving as a panelist for Machine Gun Kelly and SPIN Magazine’s collaborative charity art exhibit last fall, as well as hosting a fundraising livestream series last summer that raised nearly $10,000 for nonprofit Crisis Text Line, the Seattle-based artist founded his own nonprofit program called Groove for good. The newly created organization creates safe spaces for college youth to explore their mental health, educates students about resources available in times of crisis, and amplifies hope and resilience through art and music.
On Thursday, May 19, Groove for good will debut at The University of Washington in partnership with an acclaimed electronic music producer and fellow mental health advocate Tommie Sunthe nation’s largest mental health nonprofit Namistudent-run organization Puppy supportand media partner SPIN Review which will livestream the entire Grooving For Good experience for the world to enjoy.
In its mission to integrate dance music into mental health conversations with college youth, Groove for good will offer a free and one-of-a-kind student experience in two parts: The garden and The Dahlia experience.
First, The garden will invite students to join an interactive panel featuring Tommie Sun, Nami, Puppy support, and Wagner himself to discuss hope, resilience, empowerment and support. Participants will also receive art materials to draw while exploring these essential elements of well-being. Next, The Dahlia experience will encourage students to present their poetry, music, dance and art on stage with high-end production to illuminate their stories. Tommie Sun and ASM will then wrap up the on-campus art exhibits with their own DJ performances.
Because Groove for good will be free for participating students, ASM launched a GoFundMe to offset event expenses such as venue costs, staff, production and art materials for over 400 attendees. The GoFundMe has already raised over $2,000 toward the ultimate goal of $25,000. Puppy support will also receive 10% of the total amount raised by crowdfunding for their future initiatives on campus.
Wagner is no stranger to propelling advocacy through music; following the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, he organized Amplify love fundraising concerts at the Kremwerk in Seattle and the Hawthorne Theater in Portland which benefited Gay City in Seattle and the Q Center in Portland, respectively. A certified peer counselor in Washington State, Wagner has also volunteered as a crisis counselor for Crisis text lineand recently launched her weekly mental health column “Bloom” via SPIN Magazine”.
As a singer-songwriter-producer, ASM released his rock-fueled electronic soundscapes via Atlantic Records, Big Beat Discs, Brooklyn Fire Recordsand Pop Gang Recordsand was highlighted by DJ Mag as “an emerging artist to watch”.