Why The AJ Project?

Our Story

Christine Perrelli, our founder, lost her son AJ October 2013. He was the oldest of 4, a father to be, an amazing dancer, actor, stage performer and only 26 years old. The AJ Project, non profit for the arts, was set up as a way to honor AJ's memory and help the arts community by finding affordable resources, cultivate and curate emerging artists.

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There are no real answers of what happened and why he got hurt that October evening. The story goes that he was    found by a friend outside of his apartment on the ground. He was confused, started to vomit and was taken to the ER. The doctors discovered a hairline fracture on the base of his skull so they kept him for observation. After 18 hours in the ER he was taken to the Neuro/ICU and in less than 2 hours it was discovered that his brain swelled. AJ was swept into emergency surgery to relieve the pressure.  The family was told that without a miracle he would never recover and most likely die.  

While in surgery, a post was made on Facebook for prayers. Within 20 minutes of the post the waiting room of the ICU began filling up. AJ's "tribe" of friends began showing up that night and never left AJ or his family. 24/7 there was someone by his side. His friends, his co workers, people he met once briefly and people that never met him at all.  Hundreds of people showed up and held vigil by AJ's bedside until the day he became an organ donor. 

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    The AJ Project a non profit for the arts was set up to honor AJ's memory and help adults keep the arts in their lives.


When AJ died, a fundraising page was set up to pay for burial cost. Christine made a promise that any money left over would go to a fund set up in AJ's name for the arts. The following April, Christine posted on Facebook and asked for anyone who would like to talk about a scholarship in his name to join her for pizza. Twenty people showed up and hundreds of others reached out offering their help. 

As the evening went on, they shared their connections to AJ, how their lives have changed since he died and what he brought out in each of them as a performer and friend. Like AJ, many of them were pursuing their artistic passions as actors, dancers, musicians, singers and film makers. Like AJ, they were dedicated to making their passions into a career.

 

Pizza that April turned into several round table discussions in the following months. What started out as a scholarship fund turned into a full fledged 501(c)3 non profit organization for the arts with a focus on working with adults. From there they have hosted several networking events, resourced assistance for a ballet dancer in need, created a PSA film piece for organ donation, hosted A Tony Awards Viewing Party  featuring guest performers and comedy and will benefit of a monthly burlesque show.

 Not all of our supporters are in the arts.

Many are just everyday people who support the arts or have been inspired by AJ's story.  


It is the AJ Project's goal to connect resources, artists, and create content to perform in.

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http://www.4theajproject.org/give4aj


Watch Robert DeNiro's Commencement Speech to NYC Tisch Students and you will understand why we do what we do!



Artist why join our team?

"Adulting" as an artists is really hard and The AJ Project want to make it easier!

  • Be a part of creating quality productions to share on social media and on your demo reel
  • Connect to affordable development resources and special discounts offered by our affiliated partners
  • Network, connect and create your tribe
  • Get special discounts to master classes, life skills development classes and production services 

Why companies should join our network.

  • Tax write-off:  We are a 501(c)3 non profit organization so all or part of your fees are tax deductible
  • Exposure: Our creatives love to share, like, friend, tweet, Instagram, blog, Pinterest, Periscope and what ever the next new social media thing is.
  • Company Highlight: on our blog and website your company will be featured as an Artist Friendly business

Posted by AJ's sister Kitty Perrelli to honor her brother.

Sillage (pronounced as see-yazh)

is a term used to describe a scented trail left by the fragrance wearer. It comes from the French word for “wake,” as in the trail left in the sky by an airplane or on the water by a boat.  Sillage defines how fragrance diffuses around the wearer, and a strong sillage means that a fragrance projects well. Sillage has nothing to do with the richness of the composition, however, but rather with the diffusive nature of the materials that go into it.Victoria in Perfume Notes

The AJ Project's passion project is #Createfromtheheart

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This passion project is all based on her son's actual heartbeat that her husband recorded moments before AJ became an organ donor. It is this heartbeat that she listens to every night before she goes to bed since October 2013. She hopes that her son's heartbeat will inspire writers, singers, dancers and musicians to create. Her vision is to incorporate original music to dance, to film and live production all based on his heartbeat.