Mini-Grant Diaries: Joe Troop & Bringing Music to Asylum Seekers in Nogales, Mexico

Picture of Joe Troop at La Casa de la Misericordia, the migrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico where he volunteered as an ESL instructor and music teacher. Joe is smiling and has his arms around 4 anonymous asylum seekers living in residence at the facility.

Written by: Kara Kundert

We here at Bluegrass Pride are proud to support individuals of all backgrounds pursuing change and community within American traditional music. As part of that mission, we launched our Mini-Grant Program this past April -- a new tool for us to provide direct support to musicians, students, teachers, engineers, writers, festival organizers, and more. We'll be distributing $4,500 in mini-grants to folks all across the globe as they pursue excellence in music, compassion in education, and survival under a brutal system.

As we distribute these grants, we want to share with you, our broader community and membership, about what we're funding and how you can also help support these projects!

Up first, we're thrilled to have offered our very first mini-grant to Joe Troop! Best known as the founder of international supergroup, Che Apalache, Joe has spent this past year and change focusing on his activism and launching his solo career. In June, in addition to making a guest appearance at our in-person SF Porch Pride watch party, Joe traveled across the border to Nogales, Mexico to volunteer as an ESL instructor and music teacher to the asylum seekers living at La Casa de la Misericordia. 

Joe requested funding from Bluegrass Pride to support his travel to the migrant shelter. In his own words:

I spent a few weeks last month at a migrant shelter in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico with asylum seekers, sharing music and teaching English. More than I gave I received, and I learned a lot of valuable lessons. 
Bluegrass Pride hooked me up with some cash, which helped me float the boat and replace a busted A/C in my van. Mis compas Emily and Rode of “Pickin’ for Progress” shot a music video for one of my new songs, which will soon hit the public sphere. 
The world is a messed up place, but the staff and teachers at La Casa de la Misericordia make the world a little more tolerable. If you know migrants, help them! And if you can, hit me up and I’ll tell you how to donate to the shelter. They need financial help.
We are proud to have had the chance to support this project, and are thrilled to continue sharing inspiring stories like these as we continue disbursing our 2021 mini-grant funding! 
If you would like to support Joe and his music, you can pre-order his upcoming album Borrowed Time here (to be released on August 20). If you would like to support Bluegrass Pride and help the mini-grant program continue to grow and expand, please consider making a donation here, and/or signing up to become a member here!

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