Concert to benefit nonprofit’s suicide prevention and anti-bullying programs

PHOENIX (December 15, 2022) – Founded in 2018, the UBU (pronounced “you be you”) Project was created with a mission to prevent youth suicide, addiction, and bullying, through social/emotional performing arts integration residencies. On Saturday January 28 at 7:30 p.m., UBU Project Founder and recording artist David Simmons and his brother, Academy Award Winner & Broadway Star JK Simmons (Spiderman, Whiplash, Juno), will headline the second annual UBU Benefit Concert: “Light Your Corner of the World” at Desert Stages Theater. This entertaining and engaging event will feature live performances by the Simmons brothers, Kim Zinevich of The Bellwethers, and other notable performers.

“We’re looking forward to a night filled with songs and stories that will engage and entertain the audience,” says David. “And of course, all funds raised will go directly toward our lifesaving programs.”

David, or “Mr. David” as he’s known by UBU Project participants, founded the nonprofit to help others experiencing the struggles he faced in his past. Having been given a second chance at life after a failed suicide attempt over a decade ago, he has now helped thousands of youth gain a new perspective through the UBU Project programs that are delivered through residencies in K-12 schools, youth centers, group homes, and juvenile detention facilities.

The UBU Project offers three distinct performing arts residencies that focus on music and songwriting, movement anddance, and theatre and drama. The week-long interactive residency programs engage and utilize performing arts skills and curricula to introduce, support, and enhance the work being in classrooms and after-school programs. Each program is student led, with students creating their own original song, movement combination, or theatrical pieces. 

Tickets to the January 28 UBU Benefit Concert: “Light Your Corner of the World” are $50 or $100 and can be purchased at

About UBU Project

The UBU Project is a performing arts education outreach organization specializing in social-emotional performing arts integration (SEL-Arts) residencies in K12 schools, youth centers, group homes, and juvenile detention facilities.

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron Burton is the Awards Editor and Chief Critic at Awards Focus and a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Byron is a voting member of the Television Academy, Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Creative Alliance, and the Society of Composers & Lyricists (the SCL) for his work on Marvel's X-Men Apocalypse (2016). Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's "Behind the Slate" Screening Series and their "Spotlight Live" event at the American Legion in Hollywood. Byron covered the six person panel for Universal's "NOPE" as well as panels for Hulu's "Pam & Tommy Lee" and "Welcome to Chippendales" and HBO Max's "Barry" and "Euphoria."

For songwriters and composers, Byron is a frequent moderator for panels with the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) as well as The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, The Witcher & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, & Lovecraft Country; Amazon Studios' The Legend of Vox Machina, Wild Cat, & Annette; and Apple TV+s Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, and 5 Days at Memorial.

In February of 2020, Byron organized and hosted the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

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