The John Lennon® Real Love Project is a songwriting workshop for children and teens with special needs or in underserved communities. The workshop is a program of Theatre Within, the grassroots non-profit behind the Annual John Lennon Tribute whose mission is to foster personal growth and social good through the performing arts. 

With the warm support of Yoko Ono, the John Lennon Real Love Project launched in 2014 at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx. The following year it moved to Gilda’s Club, NYC, where it is currently provided to children who have lost a parent to cancer. 

The workshop is offered at no cost to eligible facilities and Theatre Within provides all of the necessary instruments and materials. Using John Lennon’s music and message as inspiration, participants are taught to play the guitar and compose their own songs. 

The John Lennon Real Love Project was conceived by Theatre Within President/Artistic Director Joe Raiola. The curriculum was designed and is currently taught by Stephanie Carlin, a musician, songwriter and founder of Free Spirits Music, a flourishing mobile songwriting program based in Brooklyn, NY.