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An American Musical in the Making…

CROWDSOURCING a Musical — About, by and for — the US Nonprofit Sector



He is thin, middle aged, and has been on and off the street for many years. He is stable, but vulnerable and interacts with the Staff as an advocate and is occasionally invited to Board meetings when there is a large organizational planning session. It is a bit of a mystery as to how he lost his self-reliance.


(She, her)

Fit, trim — she oozes confidence, wealth, intelligence. But perhaps not emotional intelligence. Given that she was successful in one area, well, she is determined to be sharing her skills with the non profit sector. She listens — as she is self-aware enough to know that she must appear to do that. But she is always prepping for her next profound offering of thoughts and words.



Effervescent, social, outgoing. She is interested in people, but also very ambitious and struggles to maintain boundaries, to not work in her historical scattershot ways. She has some family members with an array of personal issues, so is sympathetic to the challenges individuals in the community may face, but is busy moving forward in her career aspirations.


(He, him)

In his 30’s, a bit out of shape, he is disheveled. And he works hard. He is passionate about the work, his Staff. He can be compelling, assertive and fundraises well. But fundraising is work for him, as not a natural extrovert. His soul is fed by the connections with clients, but he is smart enough to know that funding, and infrastructure — matters. He has probably not found the healthiest ways to manage his stress. 


(He, him)

In a suit, circumspect, reserved and somewhat self-conscious, perhaps he has walked a golden path to his current position? All the right schools, internships, fellowships? He knows the world of money, but has never had sole responsibility for the realities of an organization. He is hard to read.


(They, them)

Focused, determined, fearless. She has a chip on her shoulder, something to prove, with a sharp, biting wit.  

So what could this story be about? It could be any one of the following scenarios:

  • Organization is in financial trouble and it comes out in the media. In the midst of all this, the organization is seeking a grant to stabilize.
  • Organization seeking a renewal of a grant and the foundation, along with the donor from the advised fund, comes to visit.
  • A new initiative, spurred by the donor, sparks a visit to the organization. She is a small government advocate, and believes with her money, and an NGO, she can save the world. 
  • Grant-writing, making things up for a proposal. Conversation regarding data?
  • Client interactions, outcomes. A family conversation about the work?
  • Donor conversations with others, politicizing the services?
  • Elected officials taking credit for everything?
  • Journalists, only as observers. Not offering solutions?
  • Health issues for Donor, Client — who has health care. Death and money? 
  • Substance abuse issues for not for profit Employee, one paycheck away from being a client? 

So, we are looking for submissions informed by any of several musical genres — Rock, Blues, HipHop. 

For Rock, think:

  • Machina/The Machines of God and Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music by The Smashing Pumpkins
  • We Will Rock You featuring the music of Queen, book by Ben Elton and Amanda Green
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich
  • American Idiot by Green Day
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark[6] by Bono and The Edge 201 
  • Rockville 2069: A Rock Musical by Johnny Ray and Bruno Paiola
  • School of Rock by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Glenn Slater and Julian Fellowes

For R&B, Blues, think:

  • Motown The Musical: Playwright: Berry Gordy. Adapted from, To Be Loved
  • After Midnight: Playwright: Jack Viertel Lyricists: Jimmy McHugh, Harry Carney, Ben Pollack, Henry Nemo, More Composers: Jimmy McHugh, Harry Carney, Ben Pollack, More

For Hip Hop, think:

  • Hamilton
  • Vivo

So, we gracefully ask that your submissions fall into these broad categories so we can build a continuous musical theme. 

Hopefully you feel prompted? Without feeling prescribed? We want you to create and contribute. And we want to build this into a complete project so a roadmap seemed required. We are in the midst of conjuring up specific scenes with the thinking that such a prompt might also be helpful. 

We welcome feedback, questions.

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