Arts & Entertainment

Concert to Raise Funds for South Mountain YMCA's Art, Music Programs

GIFT founder Mike Friedman
Mike Friedman, founder of GIFT

MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The nonprofit group Get Innovative for Tomorrow will host its first benefit concert, which will raise funds for the South Mountain YMCA, on Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Highland Place Bar & Grill in Maplewood.

Featuring a variety of artists, including Jaclyn Dima and the Shakey Tables, Liat, and 8bit, the show will raise money for the South Mountain YMCA’s after-school art and music programs. One hundred percent of the ticket sales will go to the YMCA. Performers showcasing a range of classic folk and indie rock also will have the opportunity to network with publicists and journalists.

GIFT founder and clinical psychologist Mike Friedman said that the highlight of this event was working with different advertising and charity organizations as well as individuals who believe in his cause. Friedman also noted that the South Mountain YMCA scholarship program was one of the main reasons to focus on the art and music programs for GIFT’s first show.

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“By bringing this together, we hope to help harness the identity of Maplewood and South Orange,” Friedman said.

The organization aims to address three aspects of its mission: raising money for programs, assisting in the development of the existing arts and music scene, and enhancing the promotion of arts and music business in Essex County, parts of New Jersey and New York.

“I think this particular venture sees that the economic disparity in the community (its biggest weakness) as its biggest strength,” Friedman said. “We are in it together, economically linked, and a key to the success of Maplewood and South Orange.”

Those interested in attending are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets at ahead of time. The cost per person is $25. The performance is scheduled from 6:30-11 p.m.

GIFT Productions is a nonprofit concert organization and promotion company that sponsors music events to fund arts and music programs for underserved children. The organization is designed to tap into the creativity and enthusiasm of the Maplewood/South Orange community while raising money for scholarships. GIFT Productions partners with other nonprofits to hire local artists and musicians to teach art and music to children.

The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.

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