SPIN and Machine Gun Kelly Address Mental Health Outreach at Charity Art Show


Enjoy where you are right now. That’s the aphorism rendered on a tall wall at the 27 Club, located in Cleveland’s Flats district. And while the more cynical folks descending upon the city for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies might snort and roll their eyes at the sentiment, it fits the vibe of the weekend perfectly. In the spirit of that great notion, SPIN teamed up with Machine Gun Kelly (who also owns the 27 Club), Stand Together and The Phoenix for a night of rock history, mental health awareness, and some glorious beat-powered camaraderie.


27 club art gallery
(Credit: Jeff Klaum)


The evening was a tacit acknowledgment that mental health is a genuine concern for both artists and fans seeking vicarious refuge through the art. To that end, a specially curated panel discussed the importance of mental health initiatives in an era that people mistakenly perceive as “post-COVID.” The event coincides with the launch of SPIN’s IMPACT hub, which is committed to raising awareness and taking action around some of society’s most pressing issues, particularly as they relate to music. Mental health awareness is key for IMPACT, as artists have played a crucial role in opening dialogues about personal vulnerability and maintaining a covenant of concern for their fans. Stand Together is a philanthropic community tackling the root causes of America’s biggest problems.

Panel moderator Dr. John C. Hardin of Stand Together underscored the current human condition succinctly. He cited how after the world’s last pandemic from 1918, the country’s life expectancy rates went up decade after decade. But in 2015, the rates went down and have continued to do so, long before COVID. Dr. Hardin said that “deaths of despair”—suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-induced liver disease—were all from “people facing challenges in mental health and addiction.” Los Angeles-based Dance music artist/DJ ASW (whose work is frequently described by friends as “Pink Floyd space music disco”) shared his experiences with addiction and using alcohol to mask bigger problems he had faced in the past. Triathlete/fitness advocate Scott Strode, founder of the Phoenix, discussed how physical activity has created resilient recovery and restorative mental health benefits for the group’s 65,000-strong community. The panelists’ stories were informative and uplifting while not undercutting the celebratory nature of the evening.

Following the panel, attendees were treated to refreshments, some inspired DJ mixes and an exhibition of covers from SPIN’s history in the magazine format. Bonafide legends such as Nirvana, Green Day, Rancid and Radiohead were acknowledged. A larger wall featured massive cover photo blow-ups of Jim Morrison of the Doors, grunge figurehead Kurt Cobain and the neo-soul chanteuse Amy Winehouse, all of whom died at the height of their popularity at age 27.


SPIN 27 club event
(Credit: Jeff Klaum)


While MGK did not perform at the event, he did arrive later with an entourage, cheerfully working the room and earning the shared respect of industry types, Rock Hall tourists and fans who came by to tear loose in their clubbing finery. Kels carried himself like a hometown boy made good, exhibiting gratitude—as opposed to being tarred as the dude with a psychic Frigidaire constantly strapped on his back, keeping all the beef arctic cold.


From left to right: Los Angeles-based artist ASW, Scott Strode, Founder of The Phoenix, Dr. John C. Hardin, Vice President, Stand Together, Machine Gun Kelly and Danny Klein, Creative Director, SPIN (Credit: Duane Prokop)


Clearly, MGK was taking his own advice. Because whether it’s in heavy thoughts or bombastic beats, you should always enjoy where you are right now.

See more highlights from the event below.

The post SPIN and Machine Gun Kelly Address Mental Health Outreach at Charity Art Show appeared first on SPIN.

Link to the source article – https://www.spin.com/2021/11/spin-27-club-mental-cleveland-health-recap/

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