Tuesday January 22, 2019
The Hi, How Are You Project and Margin Walker Present Hi, How Are You Day 2019 Featuring performances by The Flaming Lips, Built To Spill, Yo La Tengo, The Moth and The Flame and Special Guests
The Hi, How Are You (HHAY) Project was developed to educate people worldwide about the importance of mental health and well-being while promoting a culture of inclusion, HHAY Day features a global fundraising concert hosted at the Austin, Texas, ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The concert will feature performances by the The Flaming Lips, Built To Spill, Yo La Tengo and The Moth & The Flame. Additional musical guests will be announced in the coming weeks, with all artists donating their time and efforts to this cause.
One in four adults struggle with mental health. But, it only takes four words, one simple question to let someone know you care: “Hi, How are you?” HHAY Project founders Tom Gimbel and Courtney Blanton were inspired to create HHAY Day by iconic Austin musician and visual artist Daniel Johnston’s famous local mural “Jeramiah the Innocent,” which is painted on the corner of Guadalupe and 21st Street. The mural depicts a frog asking the ever-important question – “Hi, how are you?” Johnston has chronicled his struggles with mental health throughout his career.
“The mission of Hi, How Are You Day is to get the word out about Daniel’s art and music AND to make it routine that we recognize the worth of people struggling with depression, anxiety, learning disabilities or mental illness,” said Dick Johnston, Daniel Johnston’s brother and Hi, How Are You Project co-founder. “There’s real potential here for people to benefit from pausing to understand our common human experience, to offer help to friends and family experiencing these things and to celebrate success at life against these odds.”
“We are participating because we love Daniel’s music, and being part of a thing that celebrates his music with a bunch of other artists is always fun…and we love Austin…any excuse to play there is cool with us,” said Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. “I think mainstream society may still be a little way off from really understanding mental health issues, but the underground art and music scene has, for a long time, had a great empathy and a willingness to help with friends and family with mental health issues.”
HHAY Day offers multiple ways to get involved locally and internationally, including:
- Sharing information about and attending a free support event at 3TEN from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring acoustic performances from local artists. During “Happiness Hour” from 3-5 p.m., attendees can engage with and obtain mental health support information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Integral Care, the SIMS Foundation and Austin Child Guidance Center.
- Becoming a Friendly Frog Ambassador. Visit www.hihowareyou.org to get involved and become a certified supporter for your community.
Last year, HHAY Day took root in Austin for the first time, and Gimbel and Blanton have worked to expand the impact of the day this year.
“Clearly, mental health is in the press more than ever, but so much more remains to be done,” said Blanton. “Statistics show us that depression, anxiety, and suicide are on the rise. Removing the stigma is the first step towards a productive public dialog about mental health. I believe that Hi, How Are You Day is going to be the ‘Live Aid moment,’ and 2019 is going to be the year that we turn the tide and make a positive change in the conversation around mental health.”
This year, HHAY Day is made possible with the support of A10 Partners, FleishmanHillard, GSD&M, iHeartMedia, Margin Walker Presents, MusiCares, PwC and United Talent Agency.
"I have had the privilege of working with Daniel Johnston for 25 years,” said Gimbel. “He is both a longtime friend and a lifetime inspiration. The message that the Friendly Frog in the Hi, How Are You mural sends reminds us of how simple it can be to connect with each other. Now we’re taking this phrase to the world to help erase the stigma of mental health challenges.”
ABOUT THE HI, HOW ARE YOU PROJECT
The Hi, How Are You (HHAY) Project was created to generate new conversation around mental well-being. The name and city-proclaimed HHAY Day were inspired by Austin’s love for the iconic mural painted by Daniel Johnston. On January 22nd (Johnston’s birthday), people everywhere are encouraged to check in on a neighbor, friend, co-worker, family member, or loved one and ask, “Hi, How Are You?” The Project, created with the support of the Johnston family, funds research grants, creates media and peer-to-peer training programs that encourage open dialogue on mental well-being. Johnston is a world-renowned musician and visual artist despite his own struggles with mental illness. www.hihowareyou.org