Inspiring Peace Through Music
Producer Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson is the producer of a remarkable documentary about the simple but
transformative power of music: Playing for Change: Peace Through Music.
Playing for Change is a movement uniting people all over the world through music and
inspiration. I absolutely love their mission and commitment to inspiring peace through music.
The film is unbelievably special and brings together musicians from around the world — blues
singers in a waterlogged New Orleans, chamber groups in Moscow, a South African choir — to
collaborate on songs familiar and new, in the effort to foster a new, greater understanding of
Mark has also been instrumental in creating The Playing for Change Foundation which provides
resources (facilities, supplies, educational programs, etc) to musicians and communities around
The foundation is working with South African poet Lesego Rampolokenga to build the Mehlo
Arts Center in Johannesburg, South Africa and building and supporting the Ntonga Music School
in the South African township of Guguletu. In addition, Playing For Change is working to
enhance and rebuild Tibetan refugee centers in Dharamasala, India and Kathmandu, Nepal.
Musicians around the world Playing for Change.
According to Mark, “The vision of PLAYING FOR CHANGE extends far beyond just music and
film. We have established the Playing For Change Foundation to build music and art schools for
kids around the world. We have recently returned from Gugulethu, South Africa where we
constructed the first Playing For Change Music School. We plan to build many more schools,
each equipped with cameras and a recording studio so supporters all over the world can watch
recitals and performances in the schools we are building together. We can use these schools as
sources of inspiration and a means of breaking down negative stereotypes among people
In the words of one of the artists featured in PLAYING FOR CHANGE, Vusi Mahlasela, “The world
is immigrating into a global village, the question is how much do you want to belong.”