Gun safety group Everytown For Gun Safety joins violinist and singer/songwriter Andrew Bird with Natalie Morales—best known for her acting work on FOX’s “The Grinder,” NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and HBO’s “Girls,” as well as for directing videos for singer-songwriter Holly Miranda, bands The Georgia Sand and Killmama, and Funny or Die—for a video collaboration that takes a powerful look at a day in the life of an American kid, where lockdown drills are now a sad and regular reality in their daily routine. The video can be viewed/shared HERE. It is directed by Morales and features Bird’s song “Pulaski at Night,” which focuses on Bird’s hometown of Chicago. This year, Chicago is on pace to record more homicides than it has in any year in more than a decade. The vast majority of the city’s homicides are gun homicides.
Andrew Bird, who partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety last fall to make gun violence prevention a focus of his latest album release (Are You Serious) and tour, is also a member of Everytown’s Creative Council — a group of more than 120 prominent cultural influencers including Natalie Morales who use their reach, visibility and talents to help grow the gun safety movement. Introduced to one another through Everytown, Morales and Bird quickly aligned on a vision for a music video concept around Andrew’s song “Pulaski at Night.”
“The rhetoric around gun violence has gotten so reactionary that it seems no one is talking sense,” notes Bird. “Everytown is an organization that is talking sense, making points that no one can argue with. It’s not only the shameful body count in this country but the psychic toll that gun violence is taking on our citizens, especially young people. I used to throw up my hands and say, ‘What can we do? It’s complicated,’ but that’s lame. There’s so much we can do and Everytown is out there creating real momentum around this issue.”
Morales adds, “Directing this video, working with Andrew, and collaborating with Everytown has been deeply rewarding as gun violence is very troubling. Through my involvement I hope we can continue to elevate the conversation about senseless deaths resulting from gun violence and, as a community, find solutions to make our country and children’s lives safer.”
Andrew’s partnership with Everytown includes donating $1 from every ticket sold on his US tour to the cause. He also created a special edition orange “Are You Serious” t-shirt as part of the [(www.wearorange.org]Wear Orange campaign, which was inspired by Chicago teens who started wearing orange—the color hunter’s wear in the woods—to honor the lives of those taken by senseless gun violence.
“Andrew Bird and Natalie Morales are visionary artists with a deep commitment to reducing gun violence – we’re lucky and deeply grateful to have access to their ample talents,” said Jason Rzepka, Director of Cultural Engagement at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Eradicating gun violence from our communities will require all of us, using every tool at our disposal, so we salute Andrew and Natalie for pioneering a novel way to reach and recruit more people to join this movement.”
The partnership and music video are part of Everytown’s broader cultural portfolio, which uses every available cultural vehicle to engage and activate people on gun violence prevention. Other efforts have included comedy collaborations (“Inside Amy Schumer,” “What Could Go Wrong?” campaign with Rachel Dratch), partnerships with the athletic community (“#EndGunViolence” campaign with the NBA and Spike Lee), pop culture (“Keeping Up With The Kardashians”), narrative programming (“House of Cards”), comedy showcases and concerts (Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman, Fred Armisen, Bonnaroo, Jenny Lewis, Malik Yusef), and fashion collaborations (Donna Karan “Not One More” bracelet).