“Music helped open my narrow perspective on life and turned my world into 3D color,” global pop superstar Katy Perry said. “It changed my life in a major way, and it is important for me to pay that forward.” She’s doing that with her foundation, Firework.
When asked about the most challenging part about becoming a professional musician, Perry said, “Hearing ‘no’ when I thought I was ready, time and time again.”
“My biggest advice has always been that you can’t skip the steps,” she shared. “Building a foundation — whether that be writing hundreds of songs or playing hundreds of shows — hones your craft. Also, being true to yourself and not just the trends is the cornerstone of a successful career.”
Inspiring the next generation
Through Firework, Perry aims to inspire and empower youths from underserved communities to find their voice through the arts. She founded the organization in 2019, and her older sister Angela Lerche is at the helm as president.
Twice per year, the foundation hosts Camp Firework, which is a weekend sleepaway camp that “combines nature and the arts for middle school children who may never have been exposed to either,” Perry said. “Through the relationships we’ve built with arts organizations who have been at camp, we are now able to offer year-round programming for our partners at local Boys & Girls Clubs.”
Perry sees her work with the foundation as an investment in children’s futures, not exclusively to foster a love of the arts for children, but also to nurture their emotional well-being. “I believe the arts open children’s minds and provide a new perspective on looking at the everyday things in their lives. It’s a different way of learning for people that may be more EQ than IQ — music is, after all, math!” Perry said. “The research that we’ve done also shows that the arts support the positive growth of their mental health, which is the biggest thing on the line for this generation.”