In the wake of our experience with the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward, Ed Vigdor met with Todd in Los Angeles on July 10, 2013, to discuss the potential formation of a true non-profit foundation, its potential vision, mission and structure. Todd agreed that it was an idea worthy of exploration, so Jean Lachowicz and Ed went about the task of actually formulating a strategic plan, a mission statement and the vision for how we would go about the work of supporting music education for children.
One core aspect of the Foundation’s mission would be to uniquely weave together the various elements, components and programs that support and advocate for opportunities for children to have access to music education and to express themselves through performance opportunities… all working together, harmoniously: thus “The Spirit of Harmony”!
The name, Spirit Of Harmony, was taken from the Utopia song, “Singring and the Glass Guitar,” which tells the story of four brave adventurers overcoming obstacles and challenges to free Singring, the muse and spirit of a town named Harmony, who was imprisoned in a glass guitar by jealous forces.
On October 24, 2013, Jean flew to Los Angeles from Chicago, so that she and Ed could present the formal proposal to Todd for the foundation. At the conclusion of that 90 minute meeting, the Articles of Incorporation were signed and the Spirit of Harmony was formally established as a corporate entity.
Over the course of the next 10 months, Todd applied his innovative vision, the result of which was a further refining and focusing of the foundation’s mission and how it would be accomplished. One of the important aspects of the Foundation, rooted in its inception, is that is shall function as a grassroots effort, born from the efforts of Todd’s fan base and beyond. While Todd is the visionary leader and public face, he believes that the Foundation will best achieve its goals if it functions at the grassroots, local level.
The application for non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service was filed on December 30, 2013 and on June 6, 2014, the foundation received the designation letter from the IRS that the application for 501(c)(3) status was approved, determining that the organization is fully tax-exempt. A process that can take as much as three years took us less than six months.
Todd officially announced the formation of the Spirit of Harmony Foundation at the NAMM Convention in Anaheim, CA on January 24, 2014.
NAMM Convention 2014. (l to r): Board Chairman Ed Vigdor, Vice President Michele Rundgren, President and Founder Todd Rundgren, and Executive Director Jean Lachowicz.