Ken Kragen, best known for his work in putting together the massive ‘We are the World’ and ‘Hands Across America’ projects, has a posthumous venture launching today. The goal is to fundraise with NFTs for charities focused on climate, world hunger, cancer and Ukraine.
Teaming with tech firms Cosmic Wire, an NFT arm that has done several prominent projects, including “Rolling Stone Lips Art”, and OneOf, a sustainable blockchain company, Hands For Humanity is Kragen’s final gift of philanthropy. He died on Dec. 14, 2021.
A portion of all proceeds from NFT sales will be shared amongst the Ken Kragen Foundation, Unicef \Ukraine, WhyHunger, F Cancer/Generaize , NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and Ocean Conservancy.
Operating expenses for the project are capped at 40%, which will allow 60% to go to the Kragen Legacy, The Kragen Memorial Foundation Metaverse, which is being created as an additional revenue source for charities, and then shared amongst the Ken Kragen Foundation and the other charities.
Kragen, best known as a major creative force behind ‘We Are the World’ and ‘Hands Across America’, was also the founding president of ‘USA for Africa’, the foundation set up to administer the aid money raised by “We Are the World,” which has raised more than $100 million to alleviate poverty and continues to raise money to this day.
Kragen was also a television producer and an artist manager for entertainers that included the Bee Gees, Lionel Richie, the Smothers Brothers, Travis Tritt, Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Rogers, and Trisha Yearwood. Kragen and actress Cathy Worthington had been married since 1978.
The NFTs generated for the project will be limited to 10,000 pieces and depict two joined hands. They will feature a variety of designs portraying what it means to be part of the human family. The entire collection will be offered on the green NFT platform OneOf, cofounded by tech entrepreneur Lin Dai, digital media executive Joshua James, and music industry veteran Adam Fell, in partnership with one of Kragen’s original collaborators, music industry icon Quincy Jones and Quincy Jones Productions.
Designs will be offered from well-known celebrities, marquee artists, studios influencers – including some of the original “We Are the World” artists and participants from around the world. Those wishing to participate are also invited to submit their original designs to be considered for inclusion in the collection.
“My husband Ken originally was inspired by his client singer/songwriter Harry Chapin to work hard on solutions for world hunger, and I was right by his side all during the creation of We are the World and Hands Across America and Live Aid and we were able to see major changes to pop culture and philanthropy. Today is not only Earth Day but would have been our 44th wedding anniversary – and we are very pleased to be able to announce this news on this very special day. Ken made a lasting contribution to this world, and we want to continue his efforts,” said Cathy Worthington.
The Hands for Humanity NFT collectible will also provide special access to the Ken Kragen Memorial Metaverse featuring items from his entire career. The Metaverse will continue to raise funds for initiatives held as important to Kragen, and will also spread his messages of hope for generations to come.
“My dad was a huge proponent for technology and NFTs. The combination of technology, philanthropy, and artistry is perfectly fitting to honor his legacy. We look forward to continuing his climate change advocacy work through the launch of these new NFTs and metaverse,” said Emma Kragen.
To sign up to be a contributing artist, visit www.handsforhumanity.io.
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