Local Musicians “Get Together” to Create Music Video to Support Early Childhood Education in Austin
United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX) is pleased to share its original music video, “Get Together Austin.” The video features 16 of Austin’s most well-known musicians, including Shakey Graves, Dale Watson, Grupo Fantasma and more, to raise awareness about the importance of providing high-quality preschool for Austin’s youngest residents and to invite the community to come together to support early childhood education.
The video features the aforementioned musicians, as well as A. Sinclair, Abram Shook, Calliope Musicals, Colin Gilmore, Dana Falconberry, Gina Chavez, Golden Dawn Arkestra, LaTasha Lee & the Black Ties, Magna Carda, Quiet Company, Royal Forest, Sara Hickman, and Wild Child singing their own take of the song “Get Together” by The Youngbloods.
To keep with the theme of uniting Austinites, the video was shot in iconic Austin locations, such as Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool, as well as various murals, including UWATX’s “You’re My Butter Half” mural. UWATX worked to shoot artists from a variety of genres, demographics and backgrounds to showcase the diversity of Austin itself.
“We created ‘Get Together Austin’ to draw attention to the need for high-quality, accessible preschool for Austin’s most low-income children,” Christa Berry, director of brand and marketing, United Way for Greater Austin, said. “To succeed in school and in life, toddlers need to learn not only their ABC’s, but also cognitive skills, social-emotional skills, and good physical and mental health, which children living in low-income households are less likely to gain compared to children living in average or high-income households that can afford quality preschool.”
Early childhood education is a pillar of UWATX’s work. Studies show only 13 percent of Austin’s low-income children are deemed “kindergarten ready.” However, 90 percent of children who are enrolled in UWATX’s early childhood education programs are “kindergarten ready.”
UWATX’s early childhood programs work with other community organizations to provide a variety of services tailored for each family and child, including parent education classes, affordable quality childcare and preschool programs, such as the one featured in the “Behind the Scenes of Get Together Austin” video, Mainspring Schools.
“A lot of the children enrolled in our pre-k3 program come from families of single mothers with multiple children in the house,” Brendan Wells, education director, Mainspring Schools, said. “We feel there is a need for our low-income children to have a leg up and more of an intensive curriculum that gets them to the level of their higher-income peers by the time they start kindergarten.”
Viewers—in Austin and around the world—can take part in the “Get Together Austin” movement in a variety of ways. UWATX is asking people to share the “Get Together Austin” video using the hashtag, #GetTogetherATX. Additionally, viewers can sign up to learn more about the initiative by filling out the form on the “Get Together Austin” page. Anyone who signs up or shares the video using the hashtag will be entered to win an autographed poster signed by the participating artists.
The video was featured during the Austin City Limits Festival at the ACL Cares tent.
The campaign will continue at Fun Fun Fun Fest, where attendees will have the opportunity to lend their voice to the project by making their own version. Participants will be filmed by an onsite video crew singing the chorus of the song, and then edited into their own version of the video, singing a duet with the artist of their choice to spread the word about UWATX’s mission and preschool initiative.
To learn more about the “Get Together Austin” initiative, including how you can take part now and at Fun Fun Fun Fest, please visit: http://www.unitedwayaustin.org/get-together-austin/#about.