Irena Hart
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Irena Hart

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"Music For A Cause: Local Musician Launches a Program to Help Needy Children"

When singer-songwriter Irena Makarchuk of Fairfield, Connecticut, played a concert last summer in Central Park as part of a fund-raiser for Katrina victims, little did she know the trip to New York City would change her life. “One of the women helping us with the show brought us down to Union Square where we met kids who were living on the street. It was shocking,” she says. “We started spending time with these kids, bringing them food, and realized they weren’t just hanging out—they really were homeless. We promised to help them.”

Makarchuk’s promise became reality in Harmony4Kidz, an organization she founded in 2007 to help needy and homeless children locally and throughout the world. The focus is on musical and artistic events used as fund-raisers to create community awareness about the children’s plight. “As artists, we’ve been given a gift to use music as a common language that brings people together. We introduce the kids to creative arts—music therapy, art therapy, yoga,” she says. “Then we connect them to other programs that can provide shelter, meals, and other services. Eventually, we’d like to offer food and shelter as part of our program, but we don’t have the funding to do that now.”

Their first concert was held in Union Square last summer, and Makarchuk performed her song “Save the World,” written after she met the homeless children.

REACHING OUT THROUGH ART
Harmony4Kidz offers music and art therapy to boost children’s self-esteem, says Makarchuk. “We’re approaching this through the creative angle. We also encourage harmony: peace, music, and being one with the environment by caring for the earth, being conscious of each other, being in harmony with our surroundings,” she says.

The organization recently held a concert and art show at the Black Rock Art Center to raise awareness. They are working with the city of Bridgeport to identify children who will participate in a pilot program of music, art, and other therapies and with the Art of Living organization in New York, which offers yoga, breath work, and meditation.

“We’ve also started a documentary about the children in Union Square,” notes Makarchuk. “Our goal is to bring it to the networks to raise awareness and attract sponsors for our programs.”

Makarchuk says that the organization’s short-term goal is to start with music and art therapy for 10 at-risk children in Bridgeport at the Black Rock Art Center and 10 in New York in the Art of Living program. In addition, talks are under way with Fairfield University to involve college art and music majors. Harmony4Kidz also hopes to bring similar programs to New Jersey. “We want to create a tour, Artists Who Care, that will combine an art exhibit and music, like the recent events here,” she says.

It’s an ambitious agenda for an organization still in its infancy, but Makarchuk is working hard to make it all come together. She notes, “It’s a worthy cause, and we’re glad to do it; even if we help only a few kids in the beginning, it’s all worthwhile.”
- Better Health and Living Magazine


Discography

SINGLES: (Release Date: May 19th 2009)
"On The Dance Floor"
"Heart Strings"

Photos

Bio

Combine pop, dance, a message with spiritual compassion and love and you get Irena Hart. Born in the Ukraine, Irena moved to the United States when she was 12 and brought with her a European perspective that brings freshness to her music. Irena Hart is a prolific composer with over 100 songs written, and she is also an entertainer. Having developed a fan base in the New York area, Irena is now ready to explode on to the world stage.

There is something uniquely different about this musical beauty. A trained mechanical engineer, she holds 10 patents that range from medical science to ecologically friendly photo film. With so many talents and gifts, her passions lie with inspiring and empowering the homeless-- and for a reason. She was homeless for two years. Take Irena’s heart, creativity, intellectual brilliance, and experiences and join them with the innovative American pop producer, Marcus “Bellringer” Bell and you have a hit album that can move the masses.

Irena’s electrifying album, “Heart Strings”, contemplates love and also keeps you “On the dance floor”. The first release off of the album is the title track Heart Strings. The Heart Strings music video is a display of the struggle to let go of the person you love when you know they are no good for you. The video showcases her talent and creativity as a dynamic artist. Along with its catchy dance melodies and memorable hooks, the Heart Strings Album is sure to provide mega-hits across Europe and the US.

Irena is not only an entertainer she is also becoming a visible personality and brand. She has been a freelance reporter for Oasis TV, a Los Angeles based Time Warner Cable TV network; appeared as a musical guest on many radio and television shows, such as WPKN, WICC, WVOF, SIRIUS Radio, Alive with Clive; and many more. She was featured in the October 2008 issue of Better Health and Living Magazine as well as the Connecticut Post. She wrote the theme music for a TV show, Touchstones (which she also hosted); wrote and recorded the theme song call “It’s Our Turn” for the Boltwic online community as well as composed and recorded the Harmony4Kidz theme song, “Save the World”.

Irena has personally touched and affected over 100 homeless kids that sleep on the streets of America. Her musical talents and the reflection of their plight in her own experience compelled her to form the non-profit organization Harmony4Kidz. Through this nonprofit, she seeks to feed, clothe, and find shelter for homeless youth all over the world. Irena is also working on a book about her homeless experience called Bermuda Road. With music and the arts, Irena transforms lives with her authentic story. Her music and her personhood have powerful messages and international appeal.

Irena Hart is a happening about to happen. As she takes the global stage-- get ready-- and dance!