Our mission is to expand access to music
for youth in Northern Colorado.
Founder, Andy Whilden, talks about the power of music for youth.
There is a lack of access for youth,
particularly teens from underserved populations,
to inclusive and culturally relevant music opportunities.
ENTER UPLIFT: FOCO
Founded in 2019 as a benefit concert,
the concept was to use exceptional local music
to inspire community growth.
The idea quickly grew to include visual arts,
an extensive silent auction, and more,
highlighting things unique to Northern Colorado.
In 2022, we narrowed our mission and created a
responsive scholarship to directly assist youth.
By leveraging connections in the music industry and
within our community, we have created a
network of programs, studios, teaching artists, & venues
who are eager to support young musicians.
Our work is connecting this local network with
underserved youth and provide them with mentors and funding to navigate their music pursuits.
We also carry the tradition of our namesake annual event.
In its fourth year, the evening will showcase
young musicians side by side with professional artists,
and celebrate the community that supports both,
while bridging the gap between them.
Aspiring songwriters are backed by an all-star house band,
creating an opportunity for young musicians
to perform with positive role-models on a big stage.
Seasoned pros also get to connect with
the next generation, and the unique music collaborations
are special for the artists and audience alike.
The event is family friendly and also features a
live painter, art show, silent auction, drawings, merchandise,
empowering stories, & community networking,
with all proceeds benefitting the Uplift Scholarship.
UPLIFT: FOCO is hyper-focused on all things Northern Colorado and our core values are
Passion, Collaboration, & Inclusivity.
We invite you to join us in bridging the gap
between underserved youth and the world of music.
By building community around local arts,
we can move forward together and UPLIFT each other.
IN THE PRESS
Bandwagon Magazine – Breaking the Cycle | New Generation on the Rise
"The development director for The Matthews House said Andy Whilden has been a dedicated volunteer, and has really stepped up his efforts for this show. “He has put in an endless number of hours." The show raises awareness for their organization, and the revenues will help further their mission. "We want people to know there is a hidden population in Fort Collins. We live in a great town but there is also that population of people who are struggling and need community support. We want the community to know they can be a part of that support.” -- Steven Graham, Scene Magazine December 2019