Chicago Fret Works Launches Guitar Recycling Project

By Rachael Judd | Monday, August 9, 2010

Chicago Fret Works. Photo by Rachael Judd.

Chicago Fret Works (4229 N. Lincoln Avenue), in partnership with Intonation Music Workshop, is providing kids with working instruments for their musical education. The guitar repair shop is collecting donations as part of their new Guitar Recycling Project. Used acoustic guitars, electric basses, and working amps, drums, keyboards, and equipment are all accepted.

For donated guitars and basses, Chicago Fret Works will do minor repairs, cleaning, and restringing, but they do ask that all instruments be in decent working order. Students in receipt of these instruments participate in the Intonation Music Workshop (IMW), an after-school program in which they receive musical training, mentoring, and performance opportunities. (The program was recently featured in a Tribune article.)

“I started to read a little bit about Intonation Music Workshop and realized that it was a nonprofit organization that could use what we do,” said Steve Baker, co-owner of Chicago Fret Works. “We offered to repair their guitars as needed, and [Executive Director] Mike Simons popped in here and took us up on that offer.”

Baker said it occurred to him that a lot of people have old guitars sitting in corners gathering dust. “Often people start with a $100 or $150 guitar, and then they upgrade.” He said these starter guitars make for great donations and will help IMW build a library of instruments for students to use and eventually take home.

A tax deductible receipt will be provided for each IMW donation.

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