Legendary arts advocate supported by community in time of need
McGRATHPR.com – The region’s arts community has long rallied to support those in need. Now, a broad circle of these passionate peers are collectively championing the recovery of one of their own – a man that music saved, and a man that saves music – in his time of need.
Project Arts Plymouth presents the benefit “A Night for Mike,” in support of Mike Landers, the nonprofit’s president, director and a founder, on Friday, March 31, 6 to 11 pm, at Plymouth Memorial Hall, 83 Court Street, Plymouth. The evening’s entire proceeds support expenses incurred while Mike and his family have endured a courageous recovery, four-months to date, from his life-altering stroke. Comedian Christine Hurley hosts as emcee, highlighting many special guests, live music from local performing artist peers, light hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, 50/50 raffles, a live and silent auction and more. To become an event sponsor or contribute an auction donation, email [email protected].
On October 17, while diligently drafting a grant application for Project Arts Plymouth, Mike Landers suffered a stroke, leaving him unresponsive, as discovered by his wife, Candy. He was rushed by med-flight to Boston for emergency surgery, but the stroke left him with right-side paralysis, unable to speak, swallow or walk. After an extended hospital stay, he was transferred to a long-term rehabilitation facility, where he continues to undergo months of physical and occupational therapy, and speech pathology.
A local legend and unstoppable community servant, “Mayor Mike” developed traits of selfless service and perseverance through his challenging but musical youth in New Hampshire. As a child, Landers focused his attention on music, beginning his career at the young age of eight, when he served as the bass player for his brother’s band, Sabinpie. The band was discovered when Landers was just 15, and booked widely on tours to open for celebrity performing artists, with the likes of music legends B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Little Walter, Livingston Taylor, Jonathan Edwards, Steely Dan and countless others. Landers developed crippling Still’s Disease at age 22, severely ill and hospitalized, facing the possibility of a life in a wheelchair. Tapping deep, he persisted, recovering through unimaginable pain.
Several years and a marriage later, Landers launched Nightlife Music company, a booking and promotion business serving the arts and entertainment industry. Landers and his wife Candy settled in Plymouth, where they have resided for 35 years, and where the couple have raised five children and enjoy 10 grandchildren.
Founded in 1995, Project Arts of Plymouth originated during a conversation at a local coffeehouse, evolving today to a Board team of motivated and dedicated volunteers, each bringing valuable entertainment and fundraising skills to the table. Now 28 years strong, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization endures in its commitment to inspire and promote the full spectrum of music and artistic expression. Landers and his team tirelessly champion countless free, live summer concerts and weekly performance series on the Plymouth waterfront. Project Arts is funded entirely by local business sponsors and the support of individuals in the community. All funds raised support concert production and advertising costs. Thousands of fans have enjoyed summer shows featuring celebrity performing artists, all afforded through the nonprofit’s mission. Landers remains the force behind the organization, maintaining his lifelong commitment to “to do as much good for the world as I could.”
For many years Landers has also volunteered and produced events raising millions for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. His commitment to community service has reached many through his roles with Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce’s Industrial Development, Tourism, and Plymouth Summer Festival committees, the Summer Street Skate Park Committee, and Plymouth Bay Cultural District’s Council. He is a long-time Town Meeting member and recently retired from his daytime career working at Plymouth Municipal Airport. His tireless commitment to advocacy and justice for those in need has come to the aid of countless individuals.
Landers continues to make constant strides with health professionals to regain mobility and communication, recently making notable progress. He is engaging in intensive music therapy with practitioners who specialize in stroke-induced loss of speech. His path to recovery has been long, and its end is unclear. Music continues to be his inspiration – recently resuming harmonica playing and attentively listening to musicians performing at the rehabilitation facility where he continues inpatient care.
Medical and family expenses have created a deep financial burden for the Landers family, while Mike dedicates his will and strength to his pursuit of recovery. A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $50K to date, covering only a portion of the family’s crisis expenses.
Tickets to “A Night for Mike” are $30 each, or $500 for a table of 10, available at tickets.plymouthphil.org, a service generously hosted by Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra. To purchase accessible seats, call the box office at 508-746-8008. Free parking is available in Memorial Hall’s lot and in on-street parking spaces in close proximity. To learn more about Project Arts Plymouth, or make a tax-deductible donation, visit projectarts.com.