Red Hot Chili Peppers Bassist Flea: Music Education Program Cuts Are ‘Child Abuse’
Flea has long been a proponent of music education, going so far as to launch the Silverlake Conservatory of Music many years ago. So it should not be a surprise that he's not in favor of politicians looking to cut music education programs from schools. The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist had some strong words on the subject matter, telling Rolling Stone, "It's child abuse. It's just wrong."
The bassist initially paid for the school himself, but has organized musical fundraisers in recent years with this year's event taking place at the conservatory's new space on Sept. 9. There will be an art auction featuring pieces from Thomas Houseago, Alison Mosshart, Shephard Fairy, Ed Ruscha and Jonas Woods, while the night will also feature music from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Randy Newman and Anderson.Paak. Flea says this year, the Chili Peppers will play acoustic backed by a children's choir from the school.
Flea has been expanding his reach beyond Silverlake and recently started a summer program in Watts with the desire to do even more, especially as the Trump administration has proposed budget cuts for arts funding. The bassist says, "I worry about a lot of things that that guy says, but that affects my worldview personally. It's not just music, but the arts in general – wanting to cut the NEA."
Much like he did, Flea encourages people to get involved at the community level to see what they can do to help. "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," says the bassist.
To learn more about the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, check here.
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