In honor of Austin's love of music and it's role in shaping society, I would like split the donation to two separate charities.
$500 to the National Blues Museum (https://www.nationalbluesmuseum.org).
As an organization devoted to education about one of the greatest art forms created in America, the museum will open in 2016 in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. The Blues has played a major role in both St. Louis and Chicago and I was lucky enough to spend time studying the cultural impact during my last quarter at UChicago. The museum has been built to help revitalize the downtown St. Louis area and will play a part in rebuilding a city with increasing segregation and racial tensions. In the past, the Blues has been an expression of the African American community and has played a small role bridging gaps between distant communities through music that laid the foundations for Rock and Roll among other genres.
$500 to the Musical Arts Institute in Chicago (http://www.musicalartsinstitute.org).
The Musical Arts Institute is an organization devoted to music education in the Chicago area. They provide private lessons to students interested in choir, band, orchestra, or music theory regardless of their ability to pay. Austin always loved music and its ability to change people's lives, and I know he would be proud to support an organization that helps students in need learn the beauty in the practice and appreciation of music.
This year, I'd like to split my donation equally between two organizations that hold special places in my heart: the Animal Rescue League of Boston and Last Hope K9 Rescue. These are the two organizations that Suchin and I adopted our four fuzzy friends from. They bring us so much joy each and every day, and I am so grateful to the organizations that helped bring them into our lives. I like to think that Austin is now reunited and cuddling with Misty, and I hope that this donation can help bring that love into more peoples and animals's lives. Love and hugs to all of you, and to Austin, always.