The John Lennon® Real Love Project is a songwriting and music workshop for children, teens and adults with special needs or in underserved communities. The workshop is a program of Theatre Within, the grassroots non-profit behind the Annual John Lennon Tribute.
With the warm support of Yoko Ono, the workshop launched in 2014 for boys and girls undergoing long-term medical care at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx.
The following year, to further its positive impact the workshop was moved to Gilda’s Club, NYC, which provides free support programs for those whose lives have been impacted by cancer. In the fall of 2016, a special month-long series was held for a group of 5-12 year-olds who have lost a parent to the disease. Starting in the spring of 2017, a new adult workshop series for cancer survivors and their family members will be offered.
Theatre Within provides The John Lennon Real Love Project at no cost to eligible facilities. Using John Lennon’s music and message as inspiration, participants are taught to play guitar or ukulele, compose their own songs, and sing their truth.
The John Lennon Real Love Project was conceived by Theatre Within President/Artistic Director Joe Raiola. The curriculum for the children’s workshop was designed and is currently taught by Stephanie Carlin, a musician, songwriter and founder of Free Spirits Music, a flourishing mobile songwriting program based in Brooklyn, NY. The new adult workshop series is led by acclaimed artists Pete and Maura Kennedy, who recently celebrated their 20th year together as a married couple and performing duo.
Instruments for the The John Lennon Real Love Project have been generously donated by the Guitar Center and by Joan Zachary, Training Manager at Martin Guitar.