Hi, my name is Anthony Albanese and I'm fundraising to launch a charity called The ZUGU Project; to help raise awareness and funding for mental health causes. I've had a dream since I was a kid to be a songwriter one day, to give back through music and change the world; and to be an astronaut of course too:) Life changed that a little and I ended up dealing with schizoaffective disorder, bi-polar and severe agoraphobia, resulting in an extended hermit life. I'm unable to leave the house anymore because of it, it's a battle I'm bound and determined to overcome though, I'm a fighter and refuse to give up.
 
As a result of this battles, the songwriting gig faded into dysfunctional reality and so did I, just grinding out an existence. In the meantime I buried myself into writing music, creating artwork, woodworking and writing, amassing decades worth of useless material. Last year, finally at the age of 55. I was able to record some of these songs with the magic help of the internet which accommodated my hermitness.
 
Living with a mental illness has been difficult, but the hardest and most painful part has been watching friends and family in similar situations, unable to speak up for themselves, being neglected, abused and even denied medical care because of it. It needs to stop, the voiceless need to have advocates available to assist and defend them. The medical community needs to stop basing medical care on pseudo psychiatric exams given by un-qualified doctors and hire trained professionals to assist in diagnosing patients with mental health issues. It's been my dream to stand up and shout, to change the perception and end the stigma of mental illness. People already suffering, shouldn't suffer even more because of it.
 
One thing lead to another with the songs I posted, there's now 4 Grammy winners involved and a star studded cast and the opportunity to sign a record deal with RSTE/AMG/Sony. The ability to sell music will fund the mission of The ZUGU Project, funding local mental health causes across the country through music and the arts. We'll have websites with music, art and more including testimonials from the artists and resources for those who battle. The main objective is to create a traveling music and art exhibit filled with the biggest names we can find and put on concerts and shows, raise funds, donate them to the local mental health agencies, then move on to the next town. One by one, end the stigma and change the system. Set up advocacy and support programs, create pilot programs for hospital and emergency room care, the list is endless and we plan to tackle them all with the help of some very good friends and beautiful volunteers.
 
I have all the parts and pieces in place waiting for the next step, which is signing the record deal, releasing the initial E.P. then the following Artist complication E.Ps. The proceeds will all be rolled back into the ZUGU mission and jumpstart the other aspects of the vision. The reason I'm doing a fundraiser is because in order to finish the music and get it ready for release it's going to take about $12,000. I'm on disability, section 8 and food stamps and did all this from my couch with a laptop computer. In the last year since all this happened, my family moved me into a house that accommodates my disability and allows me to finally pursue this dream of giving back and changing the world. I now have access to my piano, keyboards and music equipment and a real computer to work on.....Phil Taylor, the CEO of RSTE wants to have a meeting to sign the deal but I don't have any music ready or means to do it. I'm sitting on a plie of tracks ready to be mixed, filled with Grammy guys and well known names, good friends, volunteers and beautiful hearts......I'm frozen in fear actually, and not sure how to move forward. I trust God to guide the way, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
 
Massive Amounts of Love Always,
Anthony
 
The | Z U G U | Project
End The Stigma