The Monterey County Chapter of
Guitars Not Guns will hold a graduation ceremony for two more classes this
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at the Rancho Cielo Youth Campus in Salinas,
California.Volunteer instructors Jim
Hansen, Jeffrey Richman and David West will present certificates to students in
the Silver Star Youth Program and the Drummond Culinary Academy that have also
participated in the free music program.13 students will receive their certificates and a guitar and will
perform songs that they have learned during their 8 week course.
During the last year 215 students in Monterey County have received free
guitar instruction and guitars.In
addition to classes at Rancho Cielo, the local chapter of Guitars Not Guns have
held 20 classes this year at the Castroville Middle School; at King City High
School; at the Marina Youth Center; at Marina High School; at Fairview Middle
School in Gonzales; with Community Partnership for Youth in Seaside, at the
Boys & Girls Club in Seaside; and at the Alisal Center for Fine Arts and
the Salvation Army in Salinas.New
classes are in the works in Soledad, in South County with CHISPA and in Big
goal of Guitars Not Guns is to help prevent violence in schools and on the
streets by providing at-risk youth with focus and self-actualization.Guitars not Guns aims to empower children
with the most fundamental tool to succeed: Believe in yourself and you can
accomplish anything. Using music as a catalyst we encourage children and
teens to use their creativity to foster personal development and to help divert
them from self-destructive influences such as drugs, alcohol and gang-related
activities. By providing free guitars and lessons we hope to engage their
creative potential and help them achieve their dreams. Our programs are for
children and teens ages 8 – 18.
Monterey County Chapter of Guitars not Guns is an all-volunteer
organization.All funds go to the
purchase of guitars, instructional books, certificates and a pizza party for
the graduates.The Chapter, based in
Sand City, annually receives proceeds from the West End Celebration and have
received grants from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation the last two years and
also previously from the Arts Council for Monterey County.
year at the West End Celebration an autographed Epiphone electric guitar signed
by Joe Bonamassa was raffled off and raised $2,500.Guitars Not Guns students performed on the
Main Stage of the West End Celebration and live on KPIGs Please Stand By Sunday
morning show which was broadcast on the internet to the world from TCK Gallery
in Sand City.
founders of Guitars Not Guns are Ray and Louise Nelson. They became foster
parents in 1992 and it was through this experience that Ray decided to provide
foster kids with guitars and lessons. He began asking friends and strangers for
their used guitars to pass along to foster kids. This act of kindness became
his passion and as a result there are classrooms across the USA and in Canada.
goal is to help stop violence in schools and on the streets by providing a
music program for at-risk teens and other deserving children. We want to divert
as many children as possible from the self-destructive behaviors of drugs, alcohol
and crime connected to gang activity. By providing children and teens with
guitars and lessons we hope to engage their creative potential. It's all about
helping underprivileged kids and teens.
June 27, 2000 "Guitars Not Guns" became a federally exempt 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.
The Guitars Not Guns national program will be conducting an auction on Ebay starting on November 27 to raise money to support chapters like ours all across the country. There will be a number of artist signed guitars, accessories and other memorabilia auctioned.
Artists signed guitars are from Sting, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, Sammy Hagar, Rick Derringer, Leon Russell, Frank Hannon and Jack Gibson. A complete list of the items along with pictures and links to the Ebay auction site may be found at:
Two groups of kids from Monterey County chapter of Guitars Not Guns performed at this year's West End Celebration hosted by Sand City. The group from King City performed on KPIG's Please Stand By program and later on the main stage.
A second group of students from the Marina, Seaside and Salinas programs joined together to perform Frere Jacques and Pipeline. Following the group performances, Matt Acuna from Salinas performed Sleepwalk accompanied by his instructor Jeff Richman.
The weekend of August 23, 24 and 25, 2013 Sand City will host their annual West End Celebration. The weekend starts Friday night with Kick-off party held at Carmel Stone Imports featuring Tommy Castro and Red Beans and Rice. On Saturday and Sunday there will be free live music on two stages and art displays throughout town. Some of the musicians/groups scheduled to perform are Moonalice, Chris Cain, Mother Hips, Mike Beck, Lightfighters, Casey Frazier and others to be announced.
Guitars Not Guns Monterey County appreciates the support that the Sand City makes to our program and we encourage you to come out and enjoy a weekend of music and art.
This year we were fortunate to have Joe Bonamassa donate a signed Epiphone guitar that will be raffled off at 5PM on Sunday August 25th.