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The Beat of the Heart

Posted: Jan 12 2013

CHIME GIVES: A charity project supporting the growth of girls in music If one listens very closely you can hear the distinct beat of the heart begging to move beyond itself.  There are those who do not hear the call.  There are the individuals who do, but (perhaps worse) ignore it.  Then there are those who hear it and listen to the beat urging them onward toward an often life-changing humanitarian mission.

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Leslie Barrett falls unquestionably into the third category.  She works full time as a High School teacher working with at-risk students to reach the necessary first life goal of finishing High School.  She nurtures them forward all day, and then only at night is she able to focus on her other love - jewelry design.  Each design reclaims an old drum cymbal and breathes new life into its forgotten and dusty form.  Whether it was cracked or dented matters not, as she shapes it into delicate dangly earrings, a one of a kind bracelet, or a necklace that grabs the attention of any onlooker, mimicking the attention it once received as a hi-hat.  Being eco-friendly and using reclaimed materials is a worthy goal for any designer, but Leslie is not stopping there.  “Even though my jewelry business, CHIME, is just coming off the ground I’ve always wanted it to be based in positive, creative forces and I think giving to others is the core of that.”  As a strong woman with very clear dreams, Leslie seeks to help, support and urge young women within and without of the classroom.  In all her travels, and throughout the collections of cymbals both gained and given, she has met a series of amazing female drummers.  “Working with cracked drum cymbals as my main medium has allowed me the opportunity to meet numerous musicians, mainly drummers - many of them dynamic and talented women.  I thought to myself, “How can I bring all of these beautiful ladies together, and who can we help and inspire?”  It is through this connection that she hopes to propel young women forward to reach out and grab their dreams of being a musician.  “I wanted to connect established female musicians with young, aspiring girls.  I knew there could be a powerful connection.”

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Leslie, along with 6 female drummers, have partnered up to create unique CHIME jewelry, where a percentage of the proceeds go to support other young women as they go to rock camp – helping turn their musical dreams into a reality. Rock Camp for Girls LA’s (RCGLA) goals are similar to Leslie’s: “RCGLA strives to nurture self-esteem and self-expression in girls, in a world that doesn’t always give girls permission, space or the tools to do so. We hope that our programs inspire girls to be their best selves, to rock in life.” Leslie, along with her 6 female drummers aim to do just that. “Women are beautiful and have a lot to offer this world. I just want to be a part of the solution. Women, as a collective, can have a very positive and powerful influence on the world.” The goals are simple: “To bridge like minds. To inspire. To create. To promote kindness. To keep the beats and love of music running though generations.” Each jewelry piece captures the unique inspiration and experience of each drummer. Each design is a permanent record of their journey as they pass on their moments of triumph to other young women – taking the form and shape of jewelry.

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To learn more about this program, CHIME and the drummers involved, please read the full story on page 42 of our Holiday 2012 Issue.  Chime is available at Graffiti Beach - 2220 Fern St., San Diego Ca and online at www.ShopGraffitBeach.com Article written by Alana Trevino Itaya Photos by Rhoel Paghunasan

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