LAS VEGAS, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Playing For Change Foundation presented the 2016 imPAX Prize to Rehan Choudhry at the opening reception of the XLIVE Annual Conference last night in Las Vegas. The imPAX Prize recognizes noble achievements in the promotion of peace and positive social impact within the staging of live events.
Choudhry, an inspirational speaker, writer, and storyteller, is perhaps best known for his role as co-founder of the annual Life is Beautiful festival held in Downtown Las Vegas. As an avid festivalgoer and creative business professional, Choudhry created the vision for a music, food, art and learning festival after leaving a high-profile corporate job to explore his passion.
When Life is Beautiful was founded in 2013, Choudhry had three goals in mind: make a positive impact on the local community, create a unique blend of lifestyle programming and make a significant societal impact. Life is Beautiful brings together an eclectic group of talent and seeks to offer unique and meaningful experiences that uplift and inspire. The festival also supports local and global causes, giving attendees the opportunity to engage with and donate to chosen nonprofit organizations on festival grounds.
Through its global network of music schools, Playing For Change Foundation shares a similar vision of revitalizing communities and inspiring people through music. "We knew the recipient of the imPAX Prize needed to be someone who embodied the spirit of furthering peace and making a positive impact in the world," said Playing For Change Foundation Executive Director John McKenna, who presented the award along with artist Souleye. "We nominated Rehan immediately, and to honor him in Las Vegas is fortuitous, for it's his base and the place where his impact is most profound."
"I have dedicated my life to making a positive impact on the world via live experiences," Choudhry says. "I always believed that festivals are more than just a large party, but rather they're opportunities to celebrate life, connect on a human level, grow culturally and drive awareness for social issues and challenges. It is such an amazing honor to not only be recognized by Playing For Change, but also considered for the imPAX Prize. We do the work we do not for recognition or for accolades, but because we want to change the world. I am so incredibly grateful for the work that Playing for Change does in this arena."
Socially conscious hip-hop artist Souleye commemorated the occasion with a live performance of several original songs, including a preview of his forthcoming 2017 album Wild Man, during the XLIVE Opening Reception in which Playing For Change Foundation served as sponsor.
XLIVE, formerly the International Music Festival Conference (IMFCON) and International Film Festival Summit (IFFS), convenes industry leaders at the intersection of music, film, culinary, beverage, eSports, technology and the experiences that culminate at festivals and live events.
"XLIVE is thrilled that someone who has been an incredible contributor to not only the festival community but the local community of Las Vegas is being recognized at this year's conference," said XLIVE CEO & Co-Founder Waco Hoover. "As the founder of Life is Beautiful, Rehan's vision represents the spirit of festivals bringing together diverse communities and supporting the local communities they take place in."
The 2016 imPAX Prize includes a scholarship dedicated in Choudhry's name to the Playing For Change Foundation music school of his choice, the program in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
About Playing For Change Foundation
Playing For Change Foundation was established in 2007, providing music education in areas that are culturally rich yet economically challenged. Children in countries around the world, from Africa, Latin America to Southeast Asia, attend free classes in music, dance and languages, taught by qualified local music teachers and led by regional administrators. Students learn about their own cultural traditions while employing technology to connect and share experiences with others around the world.
Playing For Change, led by Co-Founders Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, arose from the universal belief that music can connect people across circumstances, challenges and cultural differences. In 2002, a small group of filmmakers set out with a mobile recording studio in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the human race on the streets. The first music video production, "Stand By Me," combined 35 musicians from 10 countries who had never met in person. The phenomenon swept across the world, with "Stand By Me," one of the Playing For Change productions, being viewed over 100 million times online and counting.
The Playing For Change Movement has since attracted hundreds of global artists including Sara Bareilles, Jimmy Buffett, Bono, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Ziggy Marley, Keb Mo and Keith Richards, in addition to street musicians from 47 countries who have participated in PFC video recordings. Playingforchange.org
Bobbi Marcus PR & Events
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SOURCE Playing For Change Foundation