On the Radio in Madison


(June 22, 2010) — Last Saturday, June 20, radio host Stuart Levitan interviewed Rex Executive Director Sandy Sohcot on his Books and Beats show on The Mic 92.1 in Madison, Wisconsin. Stuart and Sandy chatted about Rex’s history and evolution, as well as current developments including upcoming Rex Jams at summer festivals, the recent presentation of the Ralph J. Gleason Award to Jorma Kaukonen, the World As It Could Be project, and the San Francisco Giants’ Jerry Garcia tribute, coming up August 9 and benefiting Rex.

Listen to the interview or download it here.

Some highlights:

“What might sound like smaller amounts has actually made a tremendous difference in the programs. We are thrilled that we can be part of that….  The Rex Jam is a microcosm of what we seek to do in our bigger world, and it’s a wonderful way of creating good will all the way around. This is another way to  shed light on how important these programs are and how the musical community can play a role in bringing attention to it and helping keep the programs going.”

“We’re able to provide these smaller grants in a wide range of areas that are helping create a sort of quilt of good works, in a sense furthering human rights and human dignity for all people; they’re connected by the fact that they’re improving the well-being of people. The grants that we made to programs early on have  turned out to be great investments in programs that have really flourished and done a lot of good. We also wind up bringing attention to programs. We can have multiple dimensions of benefits, even with a smaller grant.”

“We’re certainly not back at the funding level that happened because of the largesse of the Grateful Dead and their ability to fund at the level they did from each of their Rex benefit concerts. But I think we’re going in the right direction. As we keep gaining momentum, more musicians want to be part of what we’re doing, and we’re finding different ways to connect with musicians and the extended community so we can be as much a help as a philanthropic partner. It’s much more challenging now than it was years ago for musicians to make their own living, never mind consider how to give up an entire paid gig for a charity. So we’re finding different ways we can collaborate,  so that we have more of a grassroots base to gain funding and get the grants out there, and find ways to have musicians involved as well.”