November 2019 Inductee – Josh Johnson
PRB has always taken pride in having a mostly all female staff, so the submission letter for Josh Johnson really struck a chord with us! Thanks to Josh’s hard work, girls, non-binary youth and women of all ages now have a place in this still most male dominated industry.
I would like to nominate my husband Josh Johnson for the Punks for Humanity Club.
Josh co-founded the 501c3 non-profit organization Midway Music Speaks in 2017. This volunteer-driven organization strives to promote equity for women and non-binary folk in the music industry. In his years working and playing in the Bloomington, IN music scene he noticed the barriers that these individuals faced. Barriers in playing, working as sound engineers, managing venues, booking, and promoting. He decided to take action with another young woman who had experienced these difficulties. They co-founded Midway Music Speaks which empowers and educates girls and non-binary youth though a Girls Rock Camp, Rising Star mentorship program, and workshops. The Rising Star program pairs female and non-binary youth ages 12-20 with local female music industry professionals, teaching them how to succeed in the “boys club” of the industry.
His biggest project each year is the Midway Music Festival. The main objective is to break down the barriers of sexism in the music community, by providing resources to performers and audience members. This is an all-day, all-night festival that showcases women and non-binary performers, including local and national acts. They aim to set an example of gender equity at music festivals. The percentage of women performers is vastly lower than that of female festival goers (though PRB is also making huge strides in promoting this inequity). They also share a portion of the festival profits with other local non-profits such as Middleway House (a domestic violence resource) and Project Pink Bloc (a female-driven and focused harm reduction group).
Serving as the Festival Resource Director and Board Treasurer, he has assisted in raising tens of thousands of dollars for the cause. Josh has reached thousands of audience members and listeners, exposing them to amazing female and non-binary performers, as well as assisting hundreds of performers with resources, connections, and paid stage time.
He is so deeply devoted to affording women the same opportunities that he, himself was afforded in the music industry and is very worthy of recognition for his tireless efforts to better the culture of our music community. Of note, all of his efforts have been unpaid and selflessly volunteered.
Thank you for your consideration of Josh Johnson as an inductee to the Pucks for Humanity Club. Also, thank you for encouraging the punk rock community to be the best that we can be for our communities.Sincerely,
For More information about the organization Midway Music Speaks, visit : https://www.midwaymusicspeaks.org/about-us.html
“Without Josh Johnson Midway Music Speaks would not exist. His encouragement from the very beginning gave me, a college student at the time, the confidence to move forward with my vision. He has continued to be a stable and strong mentor for myself and an ally and advocate for women and non-binary people in music.”- Alexis King, co-founder of Midway Music Speaks