When we started this whole project, we didn’t know who it would attract or how we could connect people to our cause. What we did know is that Austin is a community composed of very passionate, talented, philanthropic people. This is an introduction to one of them.
While checking our SOW | Pro email one day last spring, Ashley, the team’s producer, saw there was a notification saying we had a new twitter follower, @ESideMusic, AKA Alex Ballentine. Alex owns a recording studio and music school in East Austin called East Side Music. He teaches lessons and also produces original music. Interestingly enough, at the same time Alex started following @SOWPro, we were putting our feelers out there to see if any music teachers in Austin would be willing to donate 2 – 4 weeks of their time to teach at the Jean de Baptiste Dessaix Music School in Jacmel, Haiti during the period we would be filming.
We got in contact with him once we figured out who he was, and he rose to the occasion to raise his own funds through creating a video and posting it on kickstarter. By doing that, he was also able to reach out to other music lovers in the community to support him in his own personal recording project for the school. The response was overwhelming with microdonations flowing in from all over the country.
He’s actually there right now and will be in Jacmel the entire time we’re shooting. We are so pleased that Alex found us and can’t wait to get down there to join him. Together, we look forward to shining a light on progress.