Abc*’s A Ritmo de Cambio (ARC) is an initiative which uses music to educate, heal and foster social change. This year ARC has partnered for the third consecutive year with Mark Johnson, the creator of Playing for Change, to showcase Mexico’s cultural richness by uniting over 70 artists with diverse musical backgrounds from across the nation to record a song with a social purpose; the song is dedicated to celebrating Mexico’s own cultural diversity. Artists include Pepe Aguilar, Lila Downs, and La Marisoul.
The initiative was presented during the A Ritmo de Cambio concert at the World Economic Forum in the Malecon of Puerto Vallarta. The video of the song was also featured during an Interactive Lunch Session at the World Economic Forum where a panel of experts discussed how cultural initiatives can unite people and transform communities; the song was showcased as one of these initiatives, by Mark Johnson on behalf of abc*, focusing on the power of music to promote reconciliation and generate true social change.
The song aims to encourage social reconciliation in Latin America and to bring the various cultures in the Americas together, utilizing the popularity of the song and of the artists that will be performing it.
Every year the funds go to a project supported by abc*. This year, ARC will help promote the work of Cauce Cuidadano, an organization working to face the vast and growing crisis of youth violence and crime in Mexico. Cauce Cuidadano has been able to use music to transform youth involved in violent activity into nodes of nonviolent youth leadership by altering dangerous behaviors, developing long-term plans for healthier lifestyles and healing emotional damage developed during a lifetime of exposure to violence.
The event in Mexico is a continuation of the ARC project launched in 2010 at the WEF in Cartagena, Colombia with the release of “La Tierra del Olvido” as the “Song For Colombia”. ARC has been working to preserve the cultural music heritage of Palenque, Colombia as well as using music to foster cultural entrepreneurship amongst youth in Palenque. The abc* Foundation was asked to showcase the ARC initiative once again the following year at the WEF in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the work of Afro Reggae, a music and culture group that provides positive alternatives for young people in Brazil’s favelas, was highlighted and “Sachita” was unveiled as the featured “Song for Brazil”.
The culmination of the A Ritmo de Cambio project will be a 10-song compilation album and concert that will benefit the various organizations supported by the Abc* Foundation, tentatively planned for 2014 in Miami, Fla., and bring together musicians from each country for a multicultural reunion to display the magnificence of Latin America'a musical heritage.