The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday May 20th

UNC student, singer competes for art education

Kamaira Philips is the founder, president and treasurer of Mind, Body, Spirit Connection, a social and wellness organization at UNC. Philips is leading a community yoga class in the Coker Arboretum at 2 p.m. on Friday.
Buy Photos Kamaira Philips is the founder, president and treasurer of Mind, Body, Spirit Connection, a social and wellness organization at UNC. Philips is leading a community yoga class in the Coker Arboretum at 2 p.m. on Friday.

The soprano vocalist is currently in second place in the Doing Good Network’s 2014 “Bands 4 Good” challenge, an online music talent competition which aims to link aspiring musicians with nonprofit music education programming.

The more than 180 contestants submitted music recordings to Bands 4 Good and have been campaigning to win online votes, which raise money for nonprofits selected by the Doing Good Network.

Philips is supporting North Carolina nonprofit Arts for Life, which provides educational arts and music programming to hospitalized children in Asheville, Winston-Salem, Durham and Charlotte. The organization is the only North Carolina nonprofit featured in this year’s challenge. Philips, a music major and pre-med student at UNC, said Arts for Life’s mission resonated with her, as she’s been volunteering at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center for about two years.

“I felt such a connection to it because of their mission to provide children who are hospitalized in four major cities in North Carolina with music and arts programs,” she said. “This is already what I have been doing, so I’m super excited that there’s a charity like this.”

Rachel Zink, executive director of Arts for Life, hopes that Philips’ current success in the competition will help foster future relationships between the 13-year-old nonprofit and UNC students.

“We’ve just found over the last 13 years that art and music, learning and creating, are really effective ways for kids to get active and engaged in life, to discover something new about themselves, to express themselves, to be creative and to just kind of forget for a little while what they’re doing in a hospital and why they’re there,” she said.

“I’m really excited to get to know Kamaira and knit together the relationship between the folks at UNC with Kamaira that are really active in the music community and our program that is local at Duke Children’s Hospital to make it even stronger — to make sure that the kids in our program have access to amazing, high quality teachers and volunteers and interns to help deliver really high quality programs.”

Philips had 70,925 votes at press time, which translates to $1,400 raised for Arts for Life. Regardless of who wins, each of the partnered nonprofits will receive the money raised during the competition. But if Philips wins, she’ll be getting prizes of her own.

In addition to an Apple Macbook Pro laptop and other studio gear, the challenge winner will receive a three-day, two-night “professional development retreat” with musician John Davenport for a chance to work with a professional production team, record in a studio and work on music software.

Fred Fletcher, president, co-founder and CEO of the Doing Good Network, said the privately-funded prize package aims to provide a springboard and exposure for aspiring musicians like Philips, while also lending a hand to nonprofits.

“We’ve decided that nonprofits need our help, and we’re willing to invest our capital to do the things that they can’t afford to do on this scale,” he said.

Fletcher also recently named Philips, who he said has been out-performing many of the contestants, a Bands 4 Good ambassador in recognition of the votes and funds she’s gained thus far.

“She’s gone out, gotten votes, raised money and done what we had hoped our contestants would do,” he said.

“(The ambassadorship) really sets them apart and identifies the work that they’ve done and acknowledges the accomplishments that they’ve made.”

arts@dailytarheel.com



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