Foundation Fighting Blindness
A Mission Virtually in Sight
Entertainment can have many purposes — it changes the mood of a night or drives us to make a difference. Our partnership with the Foundation Fighting Blindness led us to coordinate music performances with a mission. The foundation is the leading private funder for retinal disease research, funding over 100 research grants across the world. We partnered with them virtually to produce an online event that makes a difference.
When COVID-19 hit, our team was presented with the challenge of transitioning an in-person event to a virtual platform. Our team acted quickly, finding a way to continue highlighting visually-impaired entertainers and make their performances accessible in an unprecedented time by creating the “Music to Our Eyes” series.
We worked alongside the X Ambassadors to coordinate a virtual interview, discussing their experience with vision loss and discussing their commitment to music that celebrates diversity and belonging. This was followed by a performance with an emcee in Raleigh, NC and a band in Los Angeles, which our team recorded remotely from a video studio in St. Louis. This content was edited down into a 30-minute show and shared on social media platforms for an accessible, safe entertainment option.
This event became the first of many — the Music to Our Eyes interviews and performances have lasted past lockdown, with episodes being posted to this day. So far, we’ve worked with Kodi Lee, Grace Potter, Apl. De. Ap. (The Black Eyed Peas) and The Blind Boys of Alabama.
Our work with the Foundation Fighting Blindness over the years has been rewarding — we love activating our creativity and industry connections for the sake of a good cause.
Friend of Contemporary and top-tier comic, Cedric the Entertainer and his sister Sharita Kyles Wilson has hosted the SSM Health “Not So Silent Night” Gala every December since their late mother Rosetta Boyce Kyles was a cancer patient. Per SSM Health, their belief in the SSM Health mission and their efforts to raise funds for women’s health in the region are significant.
For years, Contemporary has been tasked with helping produce a “Not So Silent Night”, including theme-driven all-out parties. At the most recent gala, Cedric performed with FatPocket, a Contemporary exclusive party band, to get all guests on their feet with songs like “Hot in Herre”, “Return of the Mac” and more. Our team handles all A/V production, theme development, interactive games for guests, run of show and more. Donning ugly Christmas sweaters and feeling the holiday spirit, Cedric has helped SSM Health raise funds for a great cause.