December 2009: Allison Novack
Meet Teen Voices'" December Activist of the Month!
Allison Novack, 17
Allison Novack combines her passion for music with public service by producing teen-friendly concerts with 1308 Productions, a non-profit that she and her family created. The shows give new bands exposure, benefit different causes, and allow teens to help organize the events and gain community involvement. Allison talked with Teen Voices about her work to improve her community and the world through music.
Teen Voices: Can you tell us a little bit about 1308 Productions? How does it work and what is the goal?
Allison Novack: My brother started 1308 when he was in high school and I took it over when he graduated. The organization is run by kids, for kids, to benefit kids. It's a way to get different bands to an under 21 crowd, and to get them to nicer venues. Most of the proceeds from the concerts we showcase go to different benefits. In the past we've done Rock the Vote tours, and we've done benefit shows to buy musical instruments for schools.
Our next show is a USO [United Service Organizations] benefit show to help our troops and then we're taking 1308 international. We're colleting new and used instruments to give to Haiti. We're actually bringing a band up to Haiti and are going to hand out the instruments at the concert.
Basically, 1308 is a vehicle to get kids from all over the area to come to one certain place and listen to music and do something good for the community.
TV: What exactly is your role?
Allison: I call myself the producer but I basically do everything. I scope out bands, I get student volunteers who want to gain community service hours, I find venues, I get in touch with organizations to get the money to. I do everything from finding the band to getting proceeds to someone it can benefit. 1308 is not interested in gaining money at all. It's really to just see young people come together and help the community.
TV: What do you enjoy most about 1308 productions? What do you have the most trouble with?
Allison: I enjoy getting different people who have never helped their community involved. I've been raised in a politically active family so I've always had an interest in activism and helping the community. It's good to see that people aren't just coming to the shows to see music; they're there to benefit a cause. The most difficult aspect is getting everything together so that it works. As an event planner it's difficult to get everyone on the same page. This is really like a part-time job to me with the amount of time it takes up and it's hard to balance schoolwork, my internship and applying to colleges. It's all about time management.
TV: How did you get involved with Rock the Vote? Why did you want to focus on political issues?
Allison: My dad was the mayor of Surfside for 12 years, so my entire life I've been campaigning, reading the news, and getting involved with the community. In the presidential election of 2008, a lot of youth were interested and speaking out on both ends of the campaign and that really sparked my interest since 1308 is interested in getting youth to speak out. So I contacted Rock the Vote and they allowed us to use their logo and work for them. We focused on getting students to register to vote. A lot of students don't know that you can register when you're 16 and 17 and then once you turn 18 you're automatically registered. So we got a lot of younger kids to register.
TV: How did the Rock the Vote concert work? What was the main message you hoped to convey?
Allison: Our main message was that young people should get involved. Young people create the future and the more people that get involved the more we can shape the future. At the show we had a booth for voter registration, a stage with bands who gave messages about voting in between their songs, raffles and lots of forms of entertainment. About 200-250 people attended the show. It was really just to raise interest in the election.
TV: You have a new initiative to support music education programs in Haiti. Why did you decide to focus on this project and how did you get started?
Allison: I think Haiti is interesting because a lot of kids in Haiti have musical talent but don't have the resources to show it. Music is such a universal thing "“ anyone can relate to music. I think it would be really interesting to give them that opportunity. If we brought kids musical instruments they could really express themselves.
TV: What other community service initiatives do you follow or hope to follow in the future?
Allison: We continue to put our community service out there and are always looking for different causes to help. We lose money every time we put on a show, but it's not about the money it's about making a difference.
TV: How does the company prepare you to change your world? How does it help you accomplish this change?
Allison: The world is only going to be changed one step at a time, one person at a time. If 1308 can get just a few people involved, or bring out the leader in just a few people, we can make a difference. Along time ago the American Revolution was started by young people and we can do that again today if we have the right mindset.
TV: What do you think about music and media as a vehicle for changing our world?
Allison: Everyone can relate to music no matter where you're from or what language you speak. People look for hope in music. Music unites people and brings different types of people together, so it is a very good vehicle for change.
TV: Why do you think it's important for girls to give back to the community?
Allison: It's very important for girls to get involved, especially since women didn't always have the same rights as men. Especially in today's world; African Americans didn't always have rights and now we have a black man as president. It really shows that change is possible.
TV: What is your ultimate goal for the company? What do you hope to achieve through it?
Allison: I hope to continue 1308 wherever I go to college. I want to expand it to many different people, and send the message that youth activism is important. I also hope to uncover more leaders.
TV: Do you think you'll pursue producing or public service as a career? Why or why not?
Allison: Yes, I'm very interested in studying communication and maybe politics, and I think the two could go together very well. I think music plays into this as well because it attracts and interests so many different people. I think this type of thing could really be made into a career and be pursued for a whole lifetime.
1 Responses »
- Social Entrepreneur and Producer at 1308 Productions, Allison Novack » Changemakers » Spark A Movement » Heart Of Gold Girls
Leave a Response