John McDowell, musician, film composer, and biodynamic farmer, established Music for Farms, an international initiative concerned with organic agriculture and farming communities. Their mission is to renew and sustain local organic agriculture through the arts. Music for Farms tours farms and venues throughout North America and Europe, performing music that reflects farming. McDowell is best known for his work on the Academy Award winning documentary “Born Into Brothels,” a documentary about the non-profit organization Kids With Cameras, which teaches photography to kids in ostracized areas. McDowell formed the Born Into Brothels (BIB) Ensemble following the documentary’s success, touring the United States many times, even performing at the Chicago Cultural Center. McDowell has been recognized as exhibiting “Musical Excellence” by both the United States and the Netherlands.
Like the Music for Farms initiative, the Harvest Sun Music Festival, which will take place August 15th-17th, 2014 in Kelwood, Manitoba, Canada, is helping bring awareness and support to family farms and agriculture. This festival is a grass roots prairie music festival dedicated to supporting the agricultural community, while simultaneously bringing attention to Canadian musicians. This festival is focused on sustainability, family, and community. This festival employs the strict use of biodegradable food service products and hot composting — a method which produces compost in less time, while killing pathogens and weeds and producing finer compost.
The Harvest Sun Music Festival deals directly with Manitoba Farm and Rural Support Services (MFRSS), which provides telephone and on-line support to farm and pastoral families throughout Manitoba. MFRSS also provides public education, support units, a volunteer training program, and a Rural Resource Center. The Harvest Sun Music Festival likewise deals with Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities (MWFD), a non-profit organization concerned with the education, promotion, and training of health, safety, and wellness as it pertains to agriculture. MWFD is specifically concerned with those affected by injury.
The National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Organization hosts an annual exhibition, which will take place October 29 &nndash; November 1, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky, geared toward future employees and consumers that also showcases the artistic side of many participants. According to its mission, the National FFA “makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.” The yearly exhibition features band, chorus, and talent performances. These performances function as a significant portion of the entertainment for this exhibition.
Angelic Organics Farm, a community supported agriculture farm feeding people in the Chicago area and based in Caledonia, Illinois, embraces the intersection of the arts and agriculture. This farm has been in operation since 1991, regarding itself as a biodynamic community supported agriculture farm. Angelic Organics features the music of Lesley Littlefield, who first joined the farm as a fieldworker but now lives in San Francisco, California where she performs music and works on Angelic Organics’ creative projects. Her CD entitled “Little Songs” features music pertaining to farming and can be found here.