Visit the official Janis Ian website for more information about Janis.
Visit The Pearl Foundation website for more information about this non-profit organization.
A Note From Janis
On April 8, 2020, the day after John Prine died, I was doing laundry when a chorus began running around in my head. Two hours later, I sang the new song into my old phone (dog barking in the background), and put it on line. My colleagues and I had just lost all our 2020 shows due to the pandemic. Knowing how many of us would suffer financially, I suggested a few of them make “home-grown” versions of my new song. I’d put them on line, with leads to social media, and try to create new fans and sell a bit of merchandise for everyone. First was John Gorka: 70,000 hits later, it clearly helped raise awareness of his work. Then a quarantined parent emailed that coloring books were sold out, so Sue Coccia and Sandra Boynton helped me begin “coloring pages”. Donna Russo, a dancer friend in a wheelchair, sent me a video; Frank Turner and Mary Black signed on, and now there are versions from punk to American Sign Language to Japanese. It’s an illustration of the many ways one song can be used, and a reminder that you don’t have to be a professional to make art. Every version here was done from lockdown and quarantine, with birds, dogs, children in the background. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we enjoy it, give voice to it, and remember that someday, better times will come. Thanks, and stay safe.
Berklee College of Music Keynote Speech
Listen to Janis talk about the responsibilities and joys of being an artist, the necessity for artists to be members of the community, and her strong feeling that art transcends all borders.
The use of this site is free; no donation is necessary! (See our FAQ page for more information.) However, for those of you with a lot of extra money, Janis and her wife run The Pearl Foundation, an IRS-approved public charity dedicated to providing scholarships for returning students. Raising money solely through “tip jars” like the one at the left, donations and merchandise sales at concerts and on line, and “Charitable items” on Janis’ website, we’ve managed to endow over a million dollars in perpetual scholarships!
Janis believes that ignorance is deadly, and knowledge is the greatest gift you can offer. She also believes that most people are essentially good, and those with extra resources through talent or birth should help others not as fortunate. Through education, we can change peoples’ lives, and make this world a better place. Janis’ mother, Pearl, suffered from Multiple Sclerosis; she was given a new lease on life because of her time at Goddard College. We aim, in our own small way, to provide that “new lease” to others.