AAH&P Community Corner

A Talk with Jen Chapin

We sat down with longtime supporter Jen Chapin and asked her to tell us why she joined the AAH&P program, in addition to giving us some insight in her role as a musician in the food justice movement.

1.  How and why did you decide to work with WhyHunger’s Artists Against Hunger & Poverty program?  

“The program grew out of conversations we were having at WhyHunger many years ago (when it was still World Hunger Year) so there was really no question for me that I would be a part of it! It’s been an honor and a pleasure to be part of the AAHP as it evolves and expands.”
2.  What impact has your experience working with WhyHunger had on your music or you personally?

“I’ve always said that working with WhyHunger is the perfect antidote to dealing with the whims and challenges of the music industry. In the food justice movement, you always get to interact with inspired and intelligent people who are driven by a sense of mission, which is — ahem — not always the case in the music biz. Though really I can’t complain too much in that regard as I’ve known so many wonderful people there as well — especially the musicians! But WhyHunger and the movement it plays such a major role in leading is like fuel to me — it infuses my music and performances and communications with meaning.”

3.  As a musician, do you feel obligated to be political, get involved in social justice or speak out for those whose voices aren’t heard?

“I think music and art should express all facets of life, including the trivial, personal, non-political parts. I don’t feel obligated as a musician to get involved, but I feel fulfilled as a human being involved. For me personally, my art wouldn’t be truthful if it didn’t have the wider social-political element.”

4.  If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

“Ahh — well someday soon I aspire to move our family to Dakar, Senegal for a year of international living, and it would be a dream to play some shows there!”