Can you sit still when good music fills the air? I can’t.
HEAT Bootcamp is hoping you’ll want to pair a good workout with some awesome tunes. On Feb. 20, Austinites can work up a good sweat and meet the young musicians whose lives are directly touched by their charitable donations at HEAT Bootcamp’s free community fundraiser for local nonprofit Anthropos Arts.
Anthropos Arts Pairs Musicians With Students
The Live Music Capital of the World naturally boasts an abundance of skilled musicians. Dylan Jones, founder and executive director of Anthropos Arts, is one. For almost 20 years, Jones has played upright bass with local band Atash. The award-winning ensemble, known as “Austin’s world music ambassadors,” strives to make people dance, and they’ve traveled internationally to do so.
Before Jones realized artistic success, however, private music instructors played an instrumental part in shaping his musical and personal life.
“Dwayne Heggar gave me permission to kick ass,” Jones said over a cup of coffee at Cherrywood Coffeehouse. Heggar, who lives in Dallas, and Francios Rabbath (“now 84 and still the best bass player in the world”) are two of the professional musicians who taught Jones, imparting wisdom and encouragement that often carried him through difficult times.
As a band director in Austin, Jones realized many of his students were dealing with difficulties, without the resources he’d had as a budding musician. So in 1998, Jones founded Anthropos Arts. His goal was to pair underserved middle school and high school students with professional musicians for private lessons. While the one-on-one instruction certainly improved class performance and participation, resulting mentorships and performances also brought new confidence, fresh perspectives and great opportunities to participating young adults.
Over the years, the program has grown to include students from 17 Austin-area Title I schools, and some 150 students. This video shows Jones directing 2010 Anthropos Arts students and mentors at one of Austin’s noted live music venues, the outdoor stage at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q.
So where’s the free workout in all this worthy musical philanthropy?
One Woman, a Local Gym and Good Deeds
Philanthropy and fitness meld in one local woman: Leslie Asaka. In addition to running, exercising and working her day job, Asaka also supports Anthropos Arts. She learned of Jones’ group while serving on the culture committee of Impact Austin, a group of dedicated women philanthropists that provides grants to selected nonprofits. Though Anthropos Arts didn’t receive a grant that year, Asaka was impressed and decided to volunteer. Later, she was asked to join the Anthropos Arts Board of Directors.
A few months ago, an idea sprouted: Why not bring two of Asaka’s loves–a good workout and the Anthropos Arts community–together in one place to increase awareness?
“Leslie’s been a HEAT Bootcamp ‘family member’ for years, and she’s a staple at all sorts of HEAT benefits, such as blanket and coat drives,” said Cody Butler. Butler and business partner Joey Trombetta co-own HEAT Bootcamp, which has been serving Austin’s athletes for 10 years.
HEAT sees “movement as a form of therapy” and focuses on “lifelong health” rather than “fitness.” The gym found its foothold in Austin through working with local running groups, such as Gilbert’s Gazelles. Originally located in the iconic RunTex Riverside Drive flagship store, HEAT trainers have taught from the gym’s 2210 S. 1st St. location for the last three years.
Asaka approached Trombetta about hosting a happy hour, so Jones could speak to HEAT members about his music-based nonprofit. Acting on her idea “was a no-brainer for us,” Butler recalled. “We got really excited about the idea of our members and extended community members getting exposed to Anthropos Arts face-to-face.”
Asaka’s original idea grew as she and HEAT Bootcamp General Manager Sarah Enouen collaborated on the proper format to showcase the nonprofit. A one-day series of free workouts interspersed with student performances seemed like a fun method to introduce the two communities. Scheduling on Feb. 20 provided a logical platform for highlighting Anthropos Arts in time for this year’s Amplify Austin, the annual 24-hour philanthropical fundraiser on March 8, 2016.
“We consider it a big win anytime people get to see our students play,” said Jones. This will be the first time Anthropos Arts has ever tied a promotional event to a fundraiser. Jones, however, is calling it a “friendraiser”–an opportunity to “meet students, know their stories.”
Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Workout
- Workouts take place from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at 2210 S. 1st St.
- HEAT coaches will showcase their interests in two workouts each
- Each “camp” is 25 minutes long
- Anthropos Arts student will play between workouts, so hang out to listen
- Class size is limited (first come, first served), so sign in right away
- Allow time to fill out a quick waiver
- It’s okay to participate in multiple camps
- Everyone is welcome, regardless of fitness level
- Wear workout shoes and something comfortable to move in
- Some groups may be outside, so dress for weather as necessary (bring gloves, etc.)
- Plan for high-energy, fun activity
- Modifications will be offered for all the activities
- It’s Austin, so let’s talk parking: a small lot is available, as well as additional facility parking on 2nd Street (return to the studio via the alley)
The Feb. 20 workouts are free, and proceeds raised will be donated to Anthropos Arts. When asked for a donation reference, Butler and Enouen were reluctant to share a suggested amount (event flyer suggests a $10 minimum; the drop-in fee for a HEAT Bootcamp class is $20).
“We don’t want people to think of this as a trade for a workout, “ said Butler. “We’re closing shop on a busy Saturday and donating time to raise money that can make a difference for Anthropos Arts, a group we believe in. Give a donation to help a great nonprofit.”
More Ways to Help Anthropos Arts
Not that into workouts? It’s still possible to support Anthropos Arts in a variety of meaningful ways.
A small monthly donation goes a long way toward paying teachers. Don’t forget to check whether your employer matches sponsorships. Donate directly on the Anthropos Arts website or give through Amplify Austin’s #ILiveHereIGiveHere campaign on March 8.
Volunteer. Anthropos Arts is always looking for office help, board members, “roadies” to set up and general adult supervision at events.
Donate an instrument. Band instruments are expensive and under-served schools don’t always have what students need. In particular, they’re always looking for big instruments (tubas, bass clarinets, etc.) to keep on site. Anthropos Arts keeps a wish list of needed items.
Share connections. Maybe it’s a business that could help, an interested friend or a venue where Anthropos Arts could play.
Hear Anthropos Arts play. The next performance will be the Spring Event, tentatively scheduled for May 22, 2016. All students and mentors will participate in this free concert (donation suggested). Spread the word through social media platforms to raise awareness.
@leahruns100 wants to know:
Have you ever had a teacher or athletic coach who had a major impact on your life?