A Global Initiative and Competition for the next generation of leaders and social entrepreneurs – seeking global thinkers aged 14 to 24.

YOKO ONO is one of the distinguished judges supporting the ‘What’s Your Issue?’ Song Competition designed to give youth around the world a positive outlet to express themselves using music.

Born from the Film Your Issue video competition now entering its fifth year, the new song contest will be judged by singer/actor/activist Jack Black. The competition is looking for three-minute songs from young adults 14 to 24 on any issue that moves them including the environment, education, healthcare, pathway from poverty, national security and defense, public service, human and equal rights issues.

The What’s Your Issue Song Competition winning entry will also be presented in front of the international music products industry at the 2011 NAMM Show and the finalists will be included in a compilation CD of emerging artists later this year.

Winning videos and songs will also be presented at a VIP reception in Washington, DC,

and at the annual awards ceremony co-hosted by Sony Pictures at its Los Angeles studio and on the What’s Your Issue iTunes Tile. Prizes also include a MacBook laptop and iPod Touches.

“Like NAMM, we believe in the power of music to touch hearts and change minds – and we believe in music-making,” said HeathCliff Rothman, president, What’s Your Issue Foundation. “Our initiative is at the nexus of digital video media, user-generated-content, the internet, social networking, public service and activism, specifically geared to millennial young adults 14 to 24.”

NAMM will sponsor the competition through its Wanna Play? national public awareness campaign dedicated to promoting the proven benefits of playing music for people of all ages and skill levels.

The submission period is open now and runs through mid April 2010. Online voting follows shortly thereafter, and winners will be announced in May 2010. For more information, please visit whatsyourissue.tv or wannaplaymusic.com.

“Adding a songwriting and musical element to the popular What’s Your Issue Competitions is a perfect fit,” said Scott Robertson, director of marketing and communications, NAMM. “And we’re more than happy to add ‘potentially changing the world’ to the long list of proven benefits that can be obtained through playing music.”

About What’s Your Issue Foundation

The What’s Your Issue Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization which runs an internet-based film and song competition, as well as Y/E, The Young Entrepreneur Network and a program of Video Tutorials.

The Film Your Issue competition, in its 5th year, is looking for solution-project ideas to front-burner issues from young adults 14 to 24 in a 3-minute video format, with accompanying one-sheet description.

The new Issue Song competition is looking for original 3-minute songs using the power of music to illuminate front-burner issues.

We see ourselves at the critical nexus of digital video media, user-generated-content, the internet, social networking, public service and activism – specifically geared to millennial youth 14 to 24.

We believe in the power of digital video as a social tool, and the internet and social networking as the new intersection of politics, activism and engagement.

And we want to empower and support young adults to be able to express themselves and engage in issues, using digital platforms.

And mostly, to be able to actually make a real difference – not just by buying a green product, or signing an online petition- but by tackling real issues by creating solution-project ideas that can change the world for all of us – and propel their own lives and careers. And learn some new skills, from digital video to being an entrepreneur, along the way.

What’s Your Issue Mission Statement

The mission of What’s Your Issue Foundation is to provide a unique national platform for young adults to propose creative solutions to some of our nation’s most important challenges and for that voice to be heard, honored, and acted upon by leaders in government, the media, the private sector, and the nonprofit world.

The broader year-round mission of this dynamic and multi-faceted initiative is to encourage and support civic engagement by young adults –  supported by an educational platform offering leadership and social entrepreneurial skills, as well as video-making skills.

For more information, please visit www.whatsyourissue.tv

About Wanna Play?

The Wanna Play? campaign from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) was designed to educate people about how beneficial playing a musical instrument is, and to inspire more people–from children to seniors–to become active players.
For more information, please visit wannaplaymusic.com

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization’s popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of more than 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM, interested parties can visit www.namm.org or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).


Tom Brokaw: TV Journalist/ Anchor / Author
Jack Black: Actor-Musician, Songwriting Competition Jurist
Chad Hurley: CEO and Co-Founder, YouTube
Christina Norman: CEO, Oprah Winfrey Network
Deepak Chopra: Author, Spiritual Guide
Yoko Ono: Artist / Activist, Social Entrepreneur
John Couch: Vice President of Education, Apple
James Damian: Senior VP, Best Buy
Jimmy Wales: Founder, Wikipedia
Nicholas Kristof: New York Times
Antonio Villaraigosa: Mayor, Los Angeles
Benjamin Jealous: President and CEO, NAACP
Liev Schreiber: Actor/ Writer/ Director
Jim Kennedy: Executive VP, Global Communications, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Robert Lynch: President and CEO, Americans for the Arts
Craig Newmark: Founder, Craigslist
Trevor Neilson: President, Global Philanthropy Group
Vartan Gregorian: President, Carnegie Corporation of New York
Kirk Douglas, Anne Douglas: Actor, Philanthropists