Miami Beach happy hour supports music education

Drink at this happy hour knowing your money will help bring music education to places in need.

Sip some cocktails at Sweet Liberty this Sunday, September 25, during the "Sweating for a Change" happy hour.

Barry's Bootcamp Miami Beach will host the soiree, which benefits the Playing for Change Foundation, an organization that provides music education to economically challenged areas that are rich in culture. Barry's Bootcamp partner and Playing for Change co-founder Whitney Kroenke established the foundation in 2007.

"It actually grew out of a documentary film that we were making about street musicians," Kroenke says. "As we traveled around the world recording and filming street musicians, we decided to launch a foundation to go back to the communities we had visited and provide music and art education [while] working with the locals."

Playing for Change currently has 14 active programs in 10 countries including South Africa, Rwanda, Nepal, Thailand, Brazil and Mexico.

The "Sweating for Change" happy hour will offer drinks ranging from $10 to $11, like Moscow mules, daiquiris and Tommy's margarita with agave, lime and tequila. Select wines will be $9. Schofferhofer Grapefruit beer will be available for $5 and passed h'ordeuvres will be served. Sweet Liberty is known for its cocktails and recently won "Best New American Cocktail Bar" at the Tales of the Cocktail's The Spirited Awards. Tales of the Cocktail is an international cocktail festival held in New Orleans every year.

A portion of the proceeds from the happy hour will go to funding the free music education programs the Playing for Change Foundation provides. Over the years the foundation has used funds to build schools or provide instruments to already existing programs.

"We tend to work in areas that have a lack of resources whether that means physical resources or emotional resources or spiritual resources as far as hope," she says. "We try to do art education and meet any basic needs that haven't been met in the community as well."

Playing for Change dug a well in Mali when they found out the area didn't have clean water for its maternity ward. The foundation also built a school there that not only teaches music and dance but also English. And, a part of that compound is a hospital which utilizes the clean water from the well.

The official Playing for Change Day is on Saturday, September 24.

After getting requests from musicians around the world wanting to get involved, "we decided to come up with a platform in a way in which everyone could participate in one day around the world to essentially contribute their own voices," Kroenke explains.

Last year, there were more than 300 events worldwide supporting the foundation. Collectively these events raised around $120,000. This year, there are 218 events scheduled in 46 countries. Those numbers increase each day. Playing for Change is aiming to raise $150,000 this year.

The Miami Beach and Midtown Barry's Bootcamp studios will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from classes taken on the sixth annual Playing for Change Day on September 24.

Kroenke organized the "Sweating for Change" happy hour as a way to give back and thank the Barry's Bootcamp community, with proceeds going to the Playing for Change Foundation.

"Sweating for Change" happy hour will start 7 p.m. Sunday, September 25, at Sweet Liberty Drinks and Supply Co., 237-B 20th St., Miami Beach. Call 305-763-8217 or go to MySweetLiberty.com.

TJMedina@SouthFlorida.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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