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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dream Loud show to benefit low-income Chicago students


By ERIC SCHELKOPF

Cassie Moran knows how important it is to give students the resources they need so they can achieve their dreams.

Moran, founder of the Chicago-based music management company Moxie Rock, www.moxierockmanagement.com, is teaming up with the nonprofit organization Supplies for Dreams to present the Dream Loud benefit show on May 24 at The Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison St., Chicago.

Supplies for Dreams, www.suppliesfordreams.org, provides Chicago Public Schools students with resources and extra-curricular activities, including basic school supplies and one-on-one mentoring.

Dream Loud will feature bands Jose and Me, Common Shiner, Cellrs, The Dead Hands and The Holy Motors. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, available at www.ticketweb.com.

I had the chance to talk to Moran about the upcoming show.


Q - Great talking to you. How did the show come together and what are your goals for the show?
 
I became involved with Supplies for Dreams in 2013 when I chaperoned a field trip and was able to interact with the CPS students (Supplies' Award-a-field-trip program). After this, I immediately wanted to become more involved and eventually joined the Associates Board for the organization. 


The board is comprised of young professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Aside from Award-a-field trip, we also provide all of our partner schools with school supplies and provide one-on-one mentoring for the students.



After speaking with several musicians about the organization, it became clear to me that there was an opportunity to put together something that encompassed both my passion for the organization and the local music scene here in Chicago. One of the main goals of the show is to spread the word about this organization to the 20 and 30-somethings in the city and provide information on ways to get involved. 

The second goal of the show is to provide these local bands with an opportunity to support an organization that directly influences the youth in this city.
 
Q - I know that you manage the band Common Shiner. How did the lineup for the show come together? Do you think the bands complement one other?

One thing that was really important to me in putting together this lineup was that these bands were all local and that they were excited about supporting the organization. All of the bands on this lineup have been very enthusiastic about Supplies for Dreams and our goals to expand both awareness and our programs in the next year - when I initially pitched the idea, they immediately wanted to be a part of it and help. 




As with any bill I put together, I spend a lot of time focusing on how the bill builds throughout the night and how the sound transitions between the bands. I think the lineup has depth and accomplishes the build I was looking for.
 
Q - This is a busy month for you. You are also the exclusive talent buyer for The Throne Room in Chicago, which opens this month. How are you able to juggle everything?

With a lot of organization and support! I am lucky and grateful that I have a team in both Supplies For Dreams and The Throne Room that is ready to pitch in and help when needed. 


Photo by Kelly Burke

Both of the owners of The Throne Room have been very supportive of Supplies for Dreams and our mission, and likewise, my fellow Supplies for Dreams board members are very supportive of my position at The Throne Room! 

I won't say I'm not very busy this month! But it's a very good kind of busy! Not everyone gets to spend so much of their time focusing on the things that they love to do.

Q - Can we expect you to organize more benefit shows like this in the future? Are there any particular charities that you would like to work with?

Absolutely. I plan to make Dream Loud an annual staple in Chicago for Supplies for Dreams. 


And I would absolutely like to support some other organizations I feel passionate about as well. Another organization in particular would be Trio Animal Foundation. 

I've had the opportunity to participate in a few of their volunteer days at the shelter they work with. Trio helps rescues and individuals by paying the medical bills of homeless pets in the city. 

The other organization I would like to work with at some point is Rock for Kids, which focuses on providing music education to children in need.

Q - What do you think of the current music scene in Chicago and how do you think it compares with other music scenes around the country?

I think we have a lot of potential to be a really solid and connected scene. Right now, I think we're a bit fragmented in comparison with some other major cities. 


You tend to see a lot of bands get to the next level and then leave Chicago, instead of staying and really solidifying what Chicago music is. In the past year, however, I've really seen a major effort to bring the local scene together (e.g., The Music Summit in 2013). 

We have such a wealth of talent here, so the more we can come together, work with the city and each other, I think the more successful we'll be at defining Chicago music as a whole.