Bridgeport Artists Transform Broken Musical Instruments into Art and Jewelry to Benefit CHIRP

By Julie Perine on April 15, 2018 via

Bill and Amanda Leaseburg know the expense of raising a musical child. Their son Roger grew up playing the trumpet and there were a couple times the couple struggled to supply him with a quality instrument.
Living in Myrtle Beach at the time, the Leaseburgs got involved with South by Southeast Music Feast, a monthly event which combined a potluck supper with a student concert, proceeds which were used to help fund instrument expense of middle school band students.
The investment of time paid off as those students pursued their musical passions; some throughout their lives. Included was Roger Doss, who serves as a band director at Boyd County Middle School in Ashland, Kentucky.
The Leaseburgs were happy to recently team up with Dr. Mike Hess, the founder of CHIRP – Children’s Instrument Recycle Program – allowing them to continue working for the betterment of local band students.
Owners of “The Starving Artist” art studio in Bridgeport, the Leaseburgs have found a specialty niche in the quest to provide children in need with band instruments. CHIRP repairs and restores instruments, then distributes them to kids across the county who are in financial need. Though the organization is quite resourceful, there are still some instruments that cannot be restored to quality condition. That’s where the Leaseburgs come in.
“Mike has supplied us with many broken and unplayable instruments and we are repurposing them into art pieces,” Leaseburg said. “We are working on art pieces, lamps, jewelry and more.”
Those pieces will be displayed at the April 20 CHIRP fundraiser at Bridgeport Conference Center and via either live or silent auction, will be available for purchase, all proceeds benefiting the CHIRP mission.
Leaseburg commented on the inspiration behind the creative pieces.
“I have been painting on guitars and creating cigar box guitars for years,” he said. “Vicki Angotti had the idea for the clarinet key jewelry and Amy of Amy’s Art Glass did the mosaic on the violin.”
Leaseburg said there are still several surprises in the works, involving a series of ukuleles, a cello and a Beatles-themed drum,” Leaseburg said.
The art studio will continue making pieces from unrepairable instruments after the fundraiser and display them at The Sanctuary at their building on 103 West Main Street.
Read more about the April 20 fundraiser at Bridgeport Conference Center and how you can be part of the fun and the mission HERE.

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