Art & Culture

Guitars Not Guns, San Benito County chapter officially formed.

The nonprofit provides guitars and free lessons to youths ages 8-18-years-old in San Benito County.

Guitars Not Guns, a national nonprofit organization that provides guitars and lessons to foster children, at-risk youth and other deserving kids in communities across the United States, formed an official chapter to serve children ages 8 to 18-years-old in San Benito County.

As a result of the overwhelming success of the pilot program this summer, in which 21 students participated, 17 of whom were provided free, brand new acoustic guitars donated by the Guitars Not Guns Monterey County Chapter and a local donor – and were taught by four vetted guitar teachers, the program administrators applied to the national organization to become a full fledged chapter to serve San Benito County.

The officers of this new chapter are: Michael Smith, president, Richard Primont, vice president and Jaime De La Cruz, treasurer. Donations are tax deductible under the national nonprofit charity and will be used for purchasing new acoustic guitars for students in 2018. All teachers and program administrators are unpaid volunteers who donate their time to help kids learn how to play the guitar.

The program will be offered in 2018 in Hollister, but there is interest to expand the program into San Juan Bautista as well.

Below is a short video of Guitars Not Guns students graduating from the 8-week long summer pilot program. The event was hosted and supported by San Benito County Supervisors Jaime De La Cruz and Mark Medina, with additional financial support provided by Hollister City Councilman Ray Friend. 

For more information or to donate, please contact Michael Smith at: 

About Guitars Not Guns:


Michael Smith

Pro-economic growth, pro-music, pro-science, pro-retirement.