June 2021 Newsletter

Dear family and friends,                                                              

Interview with Margaret on her award winning song, “I Can Be”
Save the date Tuesday, July 6th at 2 PM EST for an interview with Azalea Blossom’s Founder and Director, Margaret Jean Bernstein and the John Lenon International Songwriting Competition team. To listen, make sure that you are following @lennonbus on Instagram. Then join the Lennon Bus daily Instagram Live, hosted by Brian Rothschild, on Tuesday, July 6th at 2 PM.

Margaret won the competition in the children’s category for her song “ I Can Be”, which she wrote for the SAFE through the arts bullying prevention program. Margaret will be talking about her experience winning the competition as well as more about the SAFE through the arts program.

In the meantime, you can purchase the album featuring the award winning song here. One Hundred Percent of the Profit of each CD benefits the SAFE through the arts bullying prevention program.

Pride Month- Proud to Be Who We Are 
It’s Pride Month! At Azalea Blossom, we truly believe in celebrating and allowing our unique selves to blossom all year round. We know that compassion is the basis of all healthy relationships and we strive to empower individuals of all backgrounds and identities. We are beaming with Pride, knowing that the world is coming together to celebrate equality, diversity, and inclusivity of all the beautiful people on our planet. We especially celebrate and honor the LGBTQ members of our Azalea Blossom team this month including our SAFE through the arts character, Bee Happy, who is very happy!

Juneteenth All Year Long
This past Saturday, June 19th (AKA “Juneteenth”) marked the 156th anniversary  of the historic day when slaves in Galveston, Texas were told they had been freed, more than two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to end the Civil War on June 19th, 1965. Juneteenth, which is now a legal holiday in the United States, is a time to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African American individuals and celebrate African American culture.  Our Director, Margaret Jean Bernstein witnessed much celebration including music in the streets in Brooklyn this past Saturday. 

We at Azalea Blossom strive to continually celebrate this historic event all year long. Azalea Blossom believes in equality, inclusion and embracing diversity in all people. We especially celebrate and honor our African American team members this month. In addition, Our African American puppet characters, Tamika and Scott, were created to represent children in the populations in which we serve through the SAFE through the arts program. Tamika and Scott remind black and brown children of the relevance of their cultural identity and help foster acceptance of cultural diversity among all children.

Featured Volunteer of the Month- Julian Jacobs
We are proud and happy to recognize Julian Jacobs as Azalea Blossom’s Volunteer of the Month. Julian, a recent graduate from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, has been involved with Azalea Blossom since 2008 when he volunteered his time, as a middle school student, to give input to the curriculum of the SAFE through the arts program during our first ever SAFE retreat. Throughout the years, he has volunteered at fundraising events and donated to various campaigns. Most recently, Julian has been volunteering his musicianship and excellent auditory skills as a co-producer to the SAFE through the arts pilot recordings. Julian, who holds degrees in jazz performance and environmental studies, will be moving to Arizona this fall where he will be working as an assistant teacher at the Awakening Seed School in Phoenix.

SAFE through the arts Pilot and recording under way
The SAFE through the arts television pilot is in progress! We have been recording the songs for the SAFE pilot. The recordings features the angelic vocals of Amanda Dolph who will be playing the part of the Princess of Positivity in the pilot. 

Go Fund Me for SAFE through the arts television pilot begins in July 
Please stay tuned to how you can help be a part of our team through our upcoming Go Fund Me campaign, beginning Wednesday, July 7. Every dollar will bring us closer to our goal of bringing bullying prevention and empowerment education through the arts to children nationwide.

Shout Out to our Most Recent Donors
Azalea Blossom counts on the generous support of people like you in order to survive.  During the last year and a half, due to the Pandemic, it has been extremely difficult to obtain funding from other sources. Libraries and foundation centers with grant seeking software have been closed to the public. All of our in person fundraising events had to be cancelled. Furthermore, we were not to receive any of the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans that were offered to many comparable non profit organizations. We are grateful for ALL our donors including our most recent donors: Bekka FInk, Bill Glover, Colleen Wilson, Melissa McGrath, Cynthia Shepard, Ella Prince, Julian Jacobs, Aoede (Lisa Sniderman), Amanda Dolph, Nancy Eaton- Shev, Jeanette LoVetri, Julia Hankerson, Cheryl Aoife Johnson.


With all best wishes for a vibrant beginning to the summer,

Margaret Jean Bernstein and the Azalea Blossom team

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