TVD Series Premiere: The Broken Dreams Project

The Vinyl District is pleased to premiere the first episode of The Broken Dreams Project, a monthly video series featuring musicians smashing instruments—all for the sake of fostering art. The first video features Chris Smith of Carolinabound discussing the importance of art in his life, performing several songs, and then breaking a guitar that was painted specifically for him by project creator, Jenni O’Shea.

The Broken Dreams project came about when O’Shea was working in education and witnessed arts funding get cut from schools. She saw children simply forget how to be creative and she knew she had to do something. This project serves as a reminder to support the arts in all forms—visual and musical—before they are destroyed literally in front of our eyes.

O’Shea works with her husband, Michael O’Shea who does the video and music production for the series. Michael has a background in music and has worked with many nonprofits in the past. He also had the key idea for the project—smashing instruments.

For Smith’s episode O’Shea painted the Blue Ridge Mountains which hold significance to both artists. O’Shea plans to keep each painting uniquely personal for the featured musician, depicting where their creativity is drawn. She also hopes to paint on many different instruments, not just guitars.

An affinity to paint on found objects is where this idea started to grow. “I don’t want to leave out any instrument. A piano, bass, anything would be fun.” Jenni says. “And then we can find more creative ways to destroy them—like burning them,” Michael adds.

When told about the project most musicians react with a “combination of horror and giddy excitement” at the idea of breaking an instrument to pieces, but also with support for the project’s message. They want each artist to be part of the entire process and be open to anything—as long as it’s safe and allows for art fragments that can be auctioned off.

After the musician wrecks the instrument it is then formed into another work of art. A charity event will then be held locally to auction off the piece with the proceeds going to a nonprofit of the musician’s choice that helps promote arts in their community. There will also be an online auction and the event will have special perks such as photo prints of the original painted instrument. The project will also feature a video to spotlight the supported charity.

Though located in Atlanta, the O’Sheas plan to make this a nationwide project so it can impact as many communities as possible. They want to go to where the musician is based and make unique videos that explore different genres and reveal what inspires them. The project’s main ambition is to raise awareness and financial support for nonprofits nationwide. But the O’Shea’s main goal is to inspire people to be creative—before art initiatives are forgotten.

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