20 Watts

ISSUE 21 | Features: Play It by Ear Pt. 1

Play It by Ear

Caitlin Moriarty was sitting in her dorm room at Syracuse University last semester when she came up with an idea – to start a non-profit arts advocacy organization that would aim to inspire and help people. But she needed a name. She thought back to advice her mother would always give her when she was struggling – “play it by ear.” That was it. She’d found Play It by Ear.

“Play it by ear – it’s a saying that I kind of grew up with … And it was in those situ­ations where you kind of just had to think and react,” she said. “And definitely we’re in a weird time right now – economically, musically – I just wanted to think and react utilizing the music and the arts to benefit whichever cause I felt needed help at that time.”

Moriarty, a sophomore music industry major and marketing minor, wrote down her first mission statement on Oct. 1, 2009, after which she brought the plan to Craig Watters, an entrepreneur professor, to get his input. Watters put Moriarty into contact with other not-for-profits like the Say Yes to Education



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