“If I can empower one victim of bullying or one bully through music the way music helped me, I’ll consider that a huge victory.”
The most common misconception among victims of bullying is that they are the only people being targeted by bullies. In reality, the majority of people report being bullied during grade school, either at the time or later in life. Even with the support of family and other friends, these feelings of isolation can take a major toll on the self-esteem of the victim, and in some cases, result in suicide.
During adolescence, a child’s self-esteem is often wrapped up in their social capital, or “popularity.” The dichotomy between the “cool kids” and “losers” and emphasis placed upon it can seem insurmountable for those in the latter category. However, by encouraging students to focus on their passions, or in our case their musical aptitude, we can increase a student’s self esteem by showcasing their talents and therefore increasing their social capital.
Fight Back Festival is a two part solution to the widespread problem of adolescent bullying. The first part will be an in-school component which will incorporate programming for students that explores self-expression and coping through music. The in-school element will also include a performance and Q&A with a notable artist about their own struggles with bullying. Fight Back Festival’s other function will be a full fledged concert with multiple artists. In addition to artist performances, there will be a panel discussion with all of the artists involved about bullying and the power of music.
The project is led by Zach Falkow, a masters student in the music business program at NYU, talent agent at CEG Talent, and former victim of bullying.
Currently seeking funding, partners, sponsors, and any volunteers in the non profit event planning, education/guidance counseling or concert promotion fields.