Andrew Ockenden on using the arts to build confidence in young people

When we create our stories each week, one of the most agonizing decisions is what to call people. How do you distill a life—in the case of our storytellers, an otherworldly life—into the three or four words of a title scroll?

When we heard about Band Seed and Andrew Ockenden, we had to talk to him. A millennial looking to give back through music what music has given him? Sold. Andrew is the latest in our line of 2016 movement-makers: inspiring people all around us changing lives for the better.

On Saturday, Andrew Ockenden’s non-profit organization Band Seed will put on another of their student showcases at The Shrine World Music Venue in Harlem. This event will raise money and awareness for Band Seed’s vital community work.

Band Seed works with kids to kick-start their own musical projects — regardless of musical experience or financial background. They teach teens to learn an instrument, develop a setlist, and perform onstage at Band Seed-sponsored showcases.

Band Seed teaches music, collaboration, and a DIY ethic. As Andrew discussed with us, his own experience in bands as a kid helped create his own ‘hustle’ ethic; it’s an ethic that is critical for underserved kids coming of age in the burgeoning gig economy, and an ethic Ockenden is passionate to pass on.

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