Spare Change is a web series where I, a former professional musician, take to the streets of Pittsburgh to raise money by busking (street performing). Each episode, the money is used to "pay it forward" in a unique way meant to spread positivity through the region. This idea began organically last week after playing an open mic night on Carson Street. My bandmate, Pete, and I finished performing around 10pm and realized we had more energy to burn. Inspired by the warm weather, we decided to start playing outside. A homeless person walked by and asked for money, we gave him everything we had. Then, a young man walked by and said, "No wonder my girlfriend isn't making any money playing up the street, you guys are here." We then headed up the block to play with a young girl named Kayleigh who just lost her job. We helped her raise additional dollars and learned playing with us was the first time she played music anyone. The entire experience was filmed and shared online. The reaction inspired us to head back out on the street a second time (see the link above). On our second night, we ran into a minister named Ray Kelly who heard us playing in Shadyside. Ray had a beautiful voice and began singing "Stand By Me" with us. We attracted a small crowd and then surprised Ray by donating all of our funds from that night to his Church. The video of that night currently has over 3,600 views in one day. Moving forward, we plan to turn this into a full-fledged web series where each week we take off in the streets hoping to spread positivity through our music and our ability to help those in need. Each episode will feature new locations and new musicians and will end with us finding a unique way to benefit individuals in Pittsburgh who are in need. We see Spare Change as a vehicle to launch "crowd giving" - creating a platform for those who have had success playing music to give back to our community while documenting the journey in a professional docu-series.
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (March 2017)