Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist calls cuts “child abuse”
By David Sands
August 16, 2017
Flea is getting red hot about politicians who want to cut music funding for public schools. In an Aug. 14 interview with Rolling Stone, the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist railed against the practice, calling it “child abuse” and “just wrong.”
He also recounted an experience that took place around 2000 where he gave a talk at Fairfax Senior High School, his Los Angeles alma mater, and discovered the music room had been stripped down to “one or two acoustic guitars, a boombox” and a “volunteer teacher” who was “sitting around talking about music.”
“I was told they cut out all the funding for that stuff,” he said.” They didn’t have instruments for the teachers anymore. It really shocked me.”
In response he and some friends co-founded the nonprofit Silverlake Conservatory of Music in 2001 to foster music education for underprivileged youth in L.A.
Reacting to to proposed cuts by the Trump administration in arts education and other areas, Flea urged people to get involved with their own communities.
“I encourage everybody to reach out into the communities they live in and do what they can to help out,” he said. “There are people that don’t have money, people that don’t have food or an education or healthcare. And yes, getting to change things on a fundamental, institutional level is an awesome thing, but we can personally reach out in our communities to do stuff that is profoundly helpful.”
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