Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education

by Herizon Music Foundation
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Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Empower U.S. Women Through Music: Jobs & Education
Meet Thea Wood, Founder & Mikella Chrisman, ED
Meet Thea Wood, Founder & Mikella Chrisman, ED

Letter from the Board President, Thea Wood.

 After three years of writing newsletters with updates, event announcements, quotes, and news, my nonprofit gurus are telling me to focus more on the journey.  So, I'm going all "Brené Brown" on you, baring my soul (gulp!), and sharing my Herizon Music journey over the last six months.

 After introducing our all-female musician marketplace at the SXSW conference in March 2022, I began the tedious task of refining the service and bug fixing. The service is hosted by My Marketplace Builder (MMB), a cool platform that templatizes marketplaces for zero setup costs, and a reasonable monthly service fee. Perfect for a nonprofit! But the process was slow going as I handled that along with fundraising, operations, social media (with Bianca Garcia's help), and podcast production.

 Each time I signed up a new musician, we found more issues-- from functionality, to design, to procedural do's and don'ts. The live tutorials revealed more glitches, and I'm so grateful for the musicians who participated, signed up, and gave feedback and bug reports.

 But I hesitated. I hesitated to recruit musicians (let alone event hosts!) for fear they would walk away if this new service wasn't perfect. Hesitated to share how slow the process was compared to my expectations. Hesitated because money is tight, and all of this requires funding to do it right. Hesitated to get my hopes up that the marketplace was really going to work. I'm happy to say we now have two dozen artists signed up in our marketplace. And we're recruiting more to reach goal of 50 by October 1st (the goal). 

 Hiring Mikella Chrisman as our new executive director was the morale booster I needed. Her enthusiasm and ability to see the potential that I see in the marketplace renewed my confidence and resolve. Plus, the woman is highly tech savvy and understands how to plan and execute scalable systems -- for the marketplace, fundraising, and operations. She has amazing ideas but of course, those ideas take funds.  We hope with all our hard work and dedication to those we serve, comes opportunity for us to reach more women, inform the public of the disparities, and create more programs for women in music.

 The Universe knows when to step in, and Wendy Colonna stepped up. She is one of the first RAM artists (check out (Wendy's Profile), and consults musicians about their worth and how to negotiate gigs, among other business advice. The link to our webinar is included.

 Our conversations turned into action items. The first? A Pricing Sheet template that musicians can customize and upload to their marketplace profiles. The Second? A "lunch and learn" livestream event covering the power of a pricing sheet (armor for those who hesitate with money talk) and how to value yourself and your talent. The third? Well, that is coming in January of 2023 and aligns with our education initiative.

 And please, if you like what HMF is doing, donate to the cause https://herizonmusic.org/make-a-donation/. From a small monthly contribution to a one-time "whale" gift, it all goes a long way to help us get women in music the education, opportunities, and income they so richly deserve.



  • Year End Fundraising Event-We sincerely hope you will join us for our Year End Fundraising Event in Austin TX in December. More details to come soon. If you would like to volunteer, sponsor, or support our event, please contact Mikella Chrisman at 812-577-6578
  • ACL- Here We Come! Mikella and I will be in Austin October 13th through the 16th for the ACL music event courtesy of Tito's Vodka! Let us know if you'd would like to meet up.
  • Seeking Board Members-We are seeking new board members. If you, or you know someone who would make a great board advisor/member, please let us know. 
  • Impact- Maggie Szabo is a prime example of the impact Herizon Music Foundation has on uplifting the next generation of women in music. We helped Maggie her get her start! Her song,SloMo, officially went double platinum in Spain just a few weeks ago!
  • Impact-Our Rising Star Award Winner, BlueSkye Riley, has also been successful with her music career. She was found by Herizon Music Foundation and thanks to our mission, she is out doing her thing at 13 years old!
  • Rising Star Search-We are excited to begin looking for our next Rising Star. If you have someone in mind, please let us know. Stay tuned for more details on how to submit a nomination for this amazing award.
  • RAM-Random Acts of Music, part of our experience initiative, is coming into the final stages (we need more funds to scale the platform to where it needs to be). If you are a female artist, or know a women in music who would love an opportunity to book more gigs, FOR FREE, please let us know. 

 Rock on,

Thea Wood

 Programs like this are made possible because of donors like you. Please help keep Herizon Music's mission alive by contributing today!


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Maggie Szabo
Maggie Szabo
BlueSkye Riley
BlueSkye Riley
Wendy Colonna
Wendy Colonna


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Barb McCue performing with her late brother
Barb McCue performing with her late brother


When I think of Spring, I think of Mother's Day.

Just a few weeks ago, my step-mother Barbara McCue passed away in Tennessee.  She married my dad when I was just 5 years old and was the first musician I had ever met in person.

On weekends when I came to visit, it was common for Barb to line up us kids (my two step siblings and half sister), pick up a guitar and sing to us. Sometimes, we had the honor of singing backup vocals on country and pop covers ranging from Dolly Parton to Fleetwood Mac. We belted out "Baddest man in the whole damn town!" from Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" -- mainly because we could swear without getting in trouble. 

I remember these moments like they were yesterday, despite not remembering what I had for dinner last night.

That is the power of music.

Because COVID hit women in music so hard (33% report suffering a mental health crisis and 25% don't know where their next dollar will come from), the Herizon Music team decided to put economics first and foremost in 2022.  

Thanks to your passion and generosity, we soft launched the first ever all-female musician marketplace: Random Acts of Music. You know how Uber connects passangers with drivers? RAM similarly connects event hosts with female musicians for paid gigs. Here's the plan...

Phase I

-- We introduced the marketplace at SXSW, attracting almost 50 new donors and connecting with dozens of musicians.

-- The dev team worked out most of the bugs -- we're almost there!

-- This month, over 150 female musicians are invited to an online training session to upload their first profiles into the service listings.

-- As we hit critical mass in a region, we will start marketing to event hosts, planners, retailers, corporations, and music fans in that area. I suspect Austin, TX will be first; but LA and Nashville will be hot on its heels!

Phase II

-- Hire an executive director

-- Set up Google Ads in "active" markets.

-- Spread the word at live events through exhibits and speaking engagements.

-- Book at least 50 gigs in 2022 (we are up to 5 before the service has fully launched!).

Hiring an Executive Director is paramount to taking this service, our podcast, and scholarship grants to the national level.  If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact me!

This takes funding. 

Please consider making a meaningful donation to jumpstart the marketplace rollout. Or, if you prefer multiple small donations, those are more valuable than you might think!  

Thank you for your continued support in helping women in music achieve merit-based success. And if you don't already subscribe to our newsletter, please do so here.

You'll receive updates on music events, special offers, and all the ways women in music are benefitting from your patronage.

One last thing: Happy Mother's Day to my mother Christy Greeneisen-- love you!!

Wishing you much love, laughter, and live music! 

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BlueSkye is our 2021-2022 Rising Star!
BlueSkye is our 2021-2022 Rising Star!

"Are we there yet?"

As we approach the new year with cautious optimism, I can't help but compare the on-going pandemic to a cross-country family road trip. After riding in a cramped car with the same five people for days on end, you just want to get there aleady.

While there was a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, many Herizon Music patrons suffered illness, the loss of loved ones, economic hardships, and the anxiety that goes along with all of it. So, our team and the women we serve cannot thank you enough for your contributions to our cause. Every dollar donated, every social media "like" and comment, every virtual event experience, every kind word spoken-- they all demonstrate that you care about uplifting the next generation of women in music.

We celebrate many accomplishments thanks to your support and will be releasing an annual report soon with details. On January 17th, our board meets to review lessons learned, new initiatives, and major goals for next year.  The theme for the year is High Impact. We will ask ourselves: "Does this decision or action have a positive, high impact for our cause?"

This is what we believe will have the highest impact for our mission: 

Develop and scale Random Acts of Music

Our virtual event booking service (you saw the pilot virtual events in 2021) proved to be a hit, so we're setting a goal of connecting female musicians with 50 paying gigs in 2022.  We are getting a lot of interest in the marketplace as no other nonprofit is doing what we're doing. And it's fulfilling the #1 need women in music have right now: PAID GIGS. To do it right, we are integrating systems and tools that allow us to reach and serve musicians and event hosts nationwide. Email info@herizonmusic.org if you'd like to connect with a musician for your corporate, social, or professional event.

Promote Rising Star BlueSkye

In December, we announced the Nicole B. Tate / Miriam Makeba Award winner.  BlueSkye is a 14 yo Michigander who wowed our team with her musical and songwriting abilities. Thanks to this scholarship award, BlueSkye will attend Girls Rock Detroit music camp, play two paid gigs, appear on Backstage Chats with Women in Music, and launch a branded website with new photos. Sign up for our newsletter if you'd like to receive links to her music and new site when they go live. We couldn't do this without the award's namesake Nicolel B. Tate. As an activist and philanthropist, Nicole is a fierce ally for women and Herizon Music-- we are lucky to have her in our famiy. 

Continue Ongoing Educational/Rolemodeling Programs

Backstage Chats with Women in Music wil continue to see episodes launch going forward. And we will continue supporting scholarship grants for our partners Girls Rock Austin and Soundgirls.org. Artistic and professional development is key to the next generation achieving success no matter what their career path.

This all goes back to raising the funds needed to continue promoting gender equity in music through education, work experience, and role-modeling programs. Only through equal opportunity can we achieve merit-based success.

Rock on,

Thea Wood, President 

Herizon Music Foundation


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GRA camper in original "No Signal" music video
GRA camper in original "No Signal" music video

It's time for our quarterly donor report!  Before we get started with the details, please sign up for the Spotlight Newsletter, which features new artists, event announcements, inspiring messages, giveaways, and more. Meanwhile, here's what we've been up to...


Our scholarship grant helped Girls Rock Austin develop an online music camp this summer and provided financial assistance for campers in need. Pandemics can’t stop the power of music! On the last day, campers performed original songs *and* created cool music videos for them. Catch the video showcase on Youtube and witness for yourself the creativity, teamwork, and technical skills that your generosity nurtures in our future stars.

Speaking of stars, we’re gearing up to take applications this month for our next Rising Star (you may remember our 2020 Rising Star Izzy Jane). This is a merit-based scholarship worth $550 for teens who would like to attend music camps with a Girls Rock chapter in a city near them. If you’d like to nominate a teen, please email thea@herizonmusic.org for more information. 

Backstage Chats with Women in Music released more podcast episodes and made its debut on Pantheon Network, which is like the MTV of music podcasts. Listen to the latest episodes here.

As you know, the pandemic disproportionately hit women in the workforce, and musicians are no exception. In fact, 25% of women in music don’t know where their next dollar is coming from. So, Herizon Music launched “Random Acts of Music.” 

RAM connects artists with virtual event hosts who pay them to perform live streaming or pre-recorded shows for their attendees. Webinars, networking meetups, employee appreciation parties, birthday celebrations. Whatever event YOU have coming up, add music and create a memorable experience while providing a tax deductible gig for musicians.   

PUTTING FUN INTO FUNDRAISING (set your reminders) 

The co-hosted Mother’s Day event with Kendra Scott was our biggest single fundraiser of Q2, bringing in ~$1200. Musical guests Shelley King and Penny Jo Pullus provided the entertainment online and at the Austin store, respectively. 

We spent the summer planning the Fall FUNdraiser, starting September 13th to 17th with the Little By Little campaign. 

Please mark your calendar because GlobalGiving will match 50% of your gift up to $50. So if you donate $100 or $200, they will chip in $50 to amplify your gift.  

Kendra Scott once again co-hosts a “Sing & Bling” event September 23rd (online) and 25th (at the 38th & Lamar store in Austin). Jenny Van West will be streaming live from Maine (!) for the virtual concert, which includes a Fall Fashion jewelry show and music trivia prizes. Musicians for the in-store event TBA.  

Last but not least, the first male superstar to support Herizon Music Foundation is donating swag and concert tickets to our upcoming auction on charitybuzz.com. Sign up for our newsletter to find out who this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is — you don’t want to miss out! 


We've expanded our team with the addition of professional fundraiser Asia Rodgers from Fort Worth, TX. Hiring Asia is a big commitment to our mission of promoting merit-based success for all women in music. 

Asia is also tasked with helping us find a full-time executive director. Do you know a candidate with nonprofit leadership experience? We'd love to meet them! Email alr@asialrodgers.com for introductions.

We also welcome Alyssa of Schertz,Texas as our new social media intern. Fun fact: Alyssa served in the Navy on the USS Ronald Reagan as a training leader. She will surely run a tight ship, and we are honored to have her on board! (Okay, I’m finished with the sailing puns.)

And congrats to summer intern Claudia Dortman on graduating from Texas State University. Claudia is now in the job market and wants to use the skills she learned working with Herizon Music. Email claudia.dortman@yahoo.com if you have entry level opportunities available.  

Thank you for reading this quarterly report. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events and invite you to share the fun with friends and family. Let's keep the momentum going through Q3 and Q4 :)

Rock on!


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Hello, and welcome to Herizon Music Foundation's quarterly report!

Herizon Music is off to a strong start in 2020!  While almost 1/3 of nonprofits aren't expected to recover from the pandemic, our community came together to defy the odds. And it's all because of YOU!

We're keeping this correspondence to just the highlights. Let us know if you'd like a copy of the 2020 Annual Report coming out next week. If you haven't already, please sign up for the Spotlight Newsletter, which features news, event announcements, inspiring messages, and more.

Meanwhile, here's what we've been up to...


Amanda Meyer, COO of BountyJobs.com, joined Herizon Music's board of directors. As Treasurer, Amanda brings a wealth of experience in finance and operations management. She's the booster shot we were looking for in a new board member as we strive to be a national force for women in music.

Networking Director Grace Lanni became an executive producer for the upcoming Amazon Prime show "The Social Movement." It's a collaborative reality show whose participants are charged with solving the world's most pressing issues-- in four days. Here's the trailer for the series releasing Labor Day 2021. Congrats to Grace!

Do you have the passion and drive to be on our board of directors? Email thea@herizonmusic.org.



The "Backstage Chats with Women in Music" podcast launched three new episodes:

Lauren LoGrasso: The Future, Fear & Age of Creativity

Nashville's Ava Paige: When Hope Come In (#cancersucks) 

Maggie Szabo: The Pride of New Pop Music Culture



In honor of women's continued efforts to spread awareness of issues that affect them in the music industry, Herizon Music produced the video "Women In Music Have Something To Say." It features women from Italy, Canada, Belgium, Canada, and the U.S. and came together with the help of our ally Texchromosome's Penny Jo Pullus.  All of these women are forces of nature and we salute them in making their voices heard!



We raised $11,290 in the first quarter! It's a great start and we know we can do better in Q2 as we reach more donors and partner with businesses that integrate corporate social responsbility strategies into their corporate objectives. Ways you can help us expand our fundraising efforts:

1. Start your own birthday fundraiser!  In the "description" field, share what this cause means to you personally and then invite your friends and family to participate.

2. Ask your business to get involved! Email introductions and project ideas to thea@herizonmusic.org.

3. Sign up for a budget-friendly recurring giving program for as low as $10/month. Click here and choose the "donate monthly" tab. 

4. Volunteer!  Your talents and experience are greatly valued. 

Thank you for joining our band of dreamers, rule breakers, and rock stars :-) 


Rock on!

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Organization Information

Herizon Music Foundation

Location: Austin, TX - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Thea Wood
Birmingham , MI United States
$17,267 raised of $25,000 goal
347 donations
$7,733 to go
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