GospelGrass Productions celebrates fifteen years of producing bluegrass gospel festivals around the country this summer. It has truly been a joy all these years to provide a venue for bands to play gospel music and for folks to listen. Lasting friendships have been made, and even a GospelGrass marriage or two has happened. The festivals are free, but sometimes donations are taken to pay the travel expenses for the bands. About ten years ago, at the flagship summer festival (Colorado), we began to raise money for various organizations and friends in need.
Jeff Brodsky is devoted to rescuing children from sex trafficking. His non-profit is called Joy, Int’l. Jeff has traveled the world helping children. He believes every child is God’s child, and each one deserves a chance to live a life of JOY. Last summer, at the festival in Colorado, we raised $1000, and this year in March at the winter festival, we raised $2500! As people become aware of what is happening, they are willing to be generous in order to help these precious children. We rejoice with Jeff in the recent success the team in Brazil had with the rescue of 4 and 8 year old girls who were being used for commercial sexual exploitation. JOY does not merely rescue. They restore these children through safe houses and education. When we produce festivals now, our artists know they are singing for JOY!
I would like to use this forum to urge others to find creative ways to help Joy, Int’l. It is always good to raise awareness and tell people what is happening – that the sex trade is the second largest crime in the world after the drug trade. It is expected to be the first largest crime in the next few years. An estimated 2 million children, the majority girls, are sexually exploited every year, and 50 – 60% are under 16, and 25% of all child sex tourists around the world are U.S. citizens. If this makes you mad and sad as it does me, start lending a hand.
At every opportunity we try to raise awareness, but money is needed, too. Without money, the rescues do not happen. In addition to taking donations at festivals, we have had “JOY Sales” – yard sales, garage sales, indoor sales – whatever works. Be creative. Everybody has things around that they don’t need or use. Ask friends for donations and have JOY selling them and giving to this organization. Get your churches involved, too. For more information, go to joy.org. Help save a child.
Come join us this summer June 28 – 29 in beautiful Monument, CO for our 15th Annual festival.
This one is called GospelGrass on the Divide and it will be held at The Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. It is cool and lovely, set in the beautiful pine trees. In addition to music on two stages with fifteen bands – playing bluegrass and western acoustic gospel music–there are lots of other fun things to do, too. On Saturday, there will be a classic car show, concessions on site, storytelling, face painting, local artists and vendors, a petting zoo, pony rides, jamming, a bounce house – and everybody’s favorite – an old-fashioned barn dance that evening. On Sunday, the festival continues in the morning with a free pancake breakfast followed by a hymn sing, and more bands in the afternoon.
If you happen to be in Texas, don’t miss the 9th Annual North Texas GospelGrass festival that happens Saturday, May 3 in Weatherford at Harmony Baptist, 212 Harmony Rd. This festival lasts from 10 am – 10 pm and seven of the best bluegrass gospel bands anywhere in the world will be performing. This festival features free admission and breakfast. For more information, call 817.901.7100.
We wish you a JOY-filled spring and summer!
For more information go to bluegrassgospelmusic.com, or call Suzie at 303.638.3725