I have long held to the belief that in times of hardship, suffering, disappointment, and grief, few things can shine a light of hope into the dark moments of life as powerfully as the arts.
A few years ago, that conviction was the impetus behind a song I wrote with my friend Joel Lindsey, titled Hope Deserves an Anthem. I recorded and released the song a few months into the pandemic that had many people reeling from the change and uncertainty facing the world. The song is a call to creatives. A call to do whatever it is they do, whether that's songwriting, painting, cooking, writing, or any other form of art, for the purpose of giving people hope. Little did I know what I would be facing a few short months later when I would learn in new ways the power of creativity in facing life's dark moments.
On December 31st, 2020, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, sending my life in an unwelcome direction I never anticipated. Anyone who has walked the thorny path of this disease knows how all-consuming it can be. Tests, chemo, multiple surgeries, radiation, periods of recovery, navigating new medications - all of it cast a shadow onto my life that would cause me to cry out for hope in ways I'd never experienced before. Now, 18 months later, still doing everything in my power to slay the cancer dragon, I can say with even more conviction that I believe in the power of words and melodies to soothe a soul like nothing else can.
I knew early on after receiving my diagnosis, I would need to write my way through this season. I didn't know if the songs and stories born during this time would simply be my own form of self-care, or if somehow they might be meant for others. I just knew writing would be a balm for my soul and the best way for me to process what was happening. Some of those creative efforts eventually found their way onto my blog, while others have been mine alone to read and sing. Now, I believe it is time to share them with you.
After much thought and prayer, along with the encouragement from dear friends, I have decided to release a new project called Hope Deserves an Anthem - A Songwriter's Quest to Find Light in Life's Dark Places. This project includes a book and 26 songs, one for each chapter. While some of the book chronicles my cancer journey, there are also reflections on faith, family, my experiences as a songwriter, as well as a call to creatives to pick up their pen or paintbrush or whatever their creative tool of choice, and start creating. The songs I've chosen for this project are a mix of personal stories, honest prayers, and my earnest attempt to tell people about a HOPE that never disappoints.
I am coming to you via this campaign to ask for your help in making this project happen. Some of the songs included in the project have already been recorded, but 15 of them still need to be produced. The book will be heading into production as well and the entire project is scheduled to be released in SEPTEMBER of 2022. All funds raised here will go toward expenses incurred in the process of recording, printing, and creating the online platform necessary to release a project like this. The more we raise, even beyond the goal amount, the more we will be able to accomplish in terms of production and marketing the project. I will also be launching a podcast to support the project's release as a way to spotlight songs, books, and other artistic efforts that offer hope to the world and the artists who are bringing that art to life.
Asking for your help in this way is not an easy thing for me, but because I believe so strongly in the the content of this project and the timing of its release, along with the fact that many of you reading this have already expressed your desire to support a project like this, I feel this is the best way to make this happen. Any amount you can give will be a huge help in this effort.
As a thank you for contributing, there are several REWARDS available to you. There are early digital releases of the songs and the book, t-shirts, physical copies of my books, and opportunities to meet with me online for mentoring or a 4-week creative jumpstart class. I’m offering a reward to write AN ORIGINAL SONG FOR YOU! There is even a reward for a house concert where I'll come to you and a few friends for an evening of stories and songs. And be sure and check out the last perk. It's a fun one! You can also donate any amount without involving a perk - just click the "BACK IT"button to do that. Any donations above $50 will receive digital downloads of the songs and book, as well as a physical copy of the book. (Click on the perk box for specifics on each reward)
The link to the crowdfunding campaign can be found HERE.
There is no way to adequately say THANK YOU to those of you who contribute to this campaign, but I can give you my word that I will move forward on this project with the utmost gratitude for your generosity and for believing in what a project like this can mean for those who need to hear and read it. Over the past two years as I have interacted with so many people who are walking a difficult road, I have been told time and time again what they need most is for someone to remind them there is HOPE. That is the ultimate purpose of this project and I am inviting you to join me in giving hope the anthem it deserves.
"I hope these stories and songs bring sustenance to your soul. I hope they make you laugh and cry and feel. I hope they remind you there is always light in dark places. I pray they will direct your eyes to the Creator and in turn, stir your heart to create your own works of art. Together, we can give hope the anthem it deserves, and in doing so, bring light and life to a world that so desperately needs it." GINA BOE - Hope Deserves an Anthem.