Gibson Guitar and the Austin GuitarTown Steering Committee announces the selection of local beneficiaries.
With the help of 10 local musicians, Gibson Guitar Austin employees wielded sledgehammers and hard hats yesterday to disassemble an East Austin house. The volunteers worked to salvage the lumber and other housing materials from 907 Mansell Avenue as a part of Habitat for Humanity’s DeConstruction program.
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Of the makeshift demolition crew, Gibson’s Codey Allen says, in mock dread, “At first they were like, ‘Yeah we’ll do it, we’ll get out there and get sweaty,’ but once they all got there they had so much fun seeing the progress they were making. And to be physically knocking things down—that was satisfying.”
The lunch break wasn’t bad either, says Allen. The musicians, who’d arrived to the work site aboard the Gibson bus, produced their guitars for a noontime acoustic jam.
The scrap lumber and materials they conserved yesterday will all be resold at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores, which serves low-income families looking to build a home inexpensively.
“This program helps to improve our city by keeping material out of the landfill, providing affordable building materials to the public, and building homes with hard working low-income families,” said Michael Willard, AHFH Executive Director.
The cause is a natural fit for Austin’s philanthropic musicians and artists, some whose paltry or unreliable paydays relegate to that same low-income bracket.
“Some musicians in Austin are facing the same kind of housing crisis that low-income residents are,” said volunteer Jeff Bradberry, lead singer of Austin band Larry. “Helping out here today gave me the feeling that I was getting something done in that area.”
Sensing a burgeoning need there, Gibson teamed with Austin Music Foundation and the City of Austin for this weekend’s Get in Tune. More than 17 vendors will be on hand during the free open house to provide Austin’s creative community with information on developing small businesses, home ownership, affordable health insurance, renter’s rights as well as tips to improve their home’s energy efficiency.
“When we get together, we usually collaborate to create music, but who knows what could happen if a couple of us get together and learn something about small business,” Bradberry says. “We could really create something amazing.”
See Gibson’s Austin blog at www.gibson.com/allaccessv2/erblogs/Austin/ for more information.