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How Artists Influence Communities: FM4FP

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

FM4FP, Free Music for Free People, New Orleans Deaf Child Blog, How Artists Influence Communities

FreeMusicForFreePeople (FM4FP) is an independent artist support system. It takes a village to make it happen. As a village, these Colorado virtuosos are pulling together resources to achieve a bigger vision than would be possible alone.

Deaf Child had the privilege of interviewing Monalicious (Mona Magno) of FM4FP to apply their work to providing access to resources in local music scenes.

FM4FP is Community and Media. They have started a movement to showcase success, respect others, and potentially grow by hosting productive creative spaces.

These goals underlie the history of music out of New Orleans, especially jazz. Music as an industry not only represents common perspectives shared among people, but also has come about because of the technology and economic developments over time.

The worse the financial struggles, the harder it becomes to create. FM4FP has sparked a revolution for innovation in the face of limited opportunities by offering sustainable art through promotion, gigs, recording/documentation, and organization.

The growth with the scene that led to FM4FP is based on an ability to involve artists in collaboration with each other.

Monalicious is a Writer/Performer with her own band, Founder and Executive Director of FM4FP, co-organizes Denver music industry meet-ups called Balanced Breakfast, plus a Teaching Artist, Lead Program Coordinator, and Podcast Host at Youth on Record.

1. When did FreeMusicForFreePeople begin? 2. What led you to this?

We began serving the Denver community in 2013. As a young person pursuing a career in music as a performer I began to obtain several industry skills and found that I would be able to connect to the community more frequently if I was representing a group of musicians and creative people. I guess you can say that I began to recognize how much more impactful I could be if I focused my efforts on benefiting the collective community.

3. How is value alignment approached at FM4FP?

During our time as an organization we have sought to preserve the integrity and intention behind our work within the community. Our name "FreeMusicForFreePeople" presents a certain amount of transparency for those who we work with and for. Transparency and Integrity are very important pillars within our approach to work. When bringing on a new intern or staff member I make sure that person has a deep alignment with community work and their position within the organization. I feel this encourages ownership for our team members and creates a stronger sense of unification as a group. At the end of the day I am here to supervise and facilitate our progress. I believe I have established a reputation with our work and as a leader that my team trusts the reason behind my direction and know that I have the best intentions for each team member, professionally and personally.

4. How does FM4FP influence communities?

We have a few different platforms that we have been able to influence the community through. First, we host events and focus on fostering community and creativity. Our intention is to inspire others through creating experiences that promote collaboration and connection. Secondly, we produce video content that features local musicians and offers them a platform to be showcased and speak on topics that are relevant to local and global communities. Lastly, we offer professional support to musicians so that they can be empowered and educated in their creative pursuits.

5. What advice do you have for others to influence their community?

Find what you are called to and what your talents are. Know your role within the community and embody it. You are most effective when you are aligned with your purpose. Don't let your image get in the way of what really matters and the work you are trying to accomplish.

6. What does the impact art leaves behind in culture mean to you?

The impact that art leave behind is why we do what we do. Art allows us to live meaningful lives and do meaningful work that extends beyond ourselves and offers us the opportunity to collaborate and contribute. Art is the force we derive our strength, creativity and vision from.

7. Is art relevant to politics as an industry? 8. Or as a reflection of society?

Most definitely. You could get a whole college degree studying this topic. I would like to add that alongside of art being a 'reflection of society, it has been a way for culture to be manipulated. Art is very powerful. It can facilitate healing and it can facilitate destruction. Individuals need to be aware of what media they consume and tune into how the art they are presented with is affecting them. Perspective is reality ... you need to ask yourself what lens you are looking through.

9. What drives people to make art? 10. Like what difference does creating art make?

It’s hard to answer this question with one solid answer because each artist is different. The act of expression is a dynamic dance. I feel everyday the 'why to my artistic drive shifts as I navigate my inner calling and the influence culture has on me. The root of expression is passion and passion keeps our inner flame lit. Whether you are trying to change the world or feed your ego, art validates our perspective and voice.

11. What piece of art has influenced you the most? 12. Why?

Oh man, I would say that absolutely everything influences me. I am constantly observing art and wondering how I can integrate something similar into one of my projects. With that said... Meow Wolf has extremely influenced my creativity over the past few months. Their story and unbound creativity has empowered me to feel as though I can really achieve anything I put my mind to and that I should push myself beyond my artistic imagination.



Event Crew - Spring Show 2019

Monalicous (Mona Magno) Head Shot

FM4FP (Free Music for Free People) Logo

Loki Interview