Will Boyajian Uses his Music to Help City Residents

Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with the Founder of Hopeful Cases and local New York artist, Will Boyajian, to talk about why he’s donating his time and music to help the city’s most vulnerable residents.

7/12/2017 #2057






"That's a terrific young man. His name is Will Boyajian. He's the founder of Hopeful Cases. You're a good man, you know that? I'm trying. Yeah, well most people should try the way you do. Describe what we just saw. So the project's called Hopeful Cases. We go into the subway, I play songs on the guitar, I leave my case open under the premise that anyone who needs it can take as much as they need from the case. You've had... hey, take a look at that sign. If you're homeless, or need help, take as much as you need from the case. You've had as much as... and I might have the wrong number, 400 bucks in there? Oh yeah, yeah. It goes... we're making about 100 dollars an hour when we're down there. Some days we do, it fills up, and then it drops down. But some days it trickles in and it trickles out. But we're about 100 an hour. Where are you? 42nd Street. Uptown A train is my little hotspot. That's your spot? Yeah. People know to see you there? Yeah yeah. And... Excuse me. I do try to make sure I stay there so that you know, I tell people if I see them on the street, I'll say, "If you need help man, I'll be there for you." And now that we're slowly spreading, and having other musicians join on, we're trying to get these little hotspots where we can say, "We got a guy at 59th Street all the time now." That we'll have someone there for you. So if you need help, if you're really hard up, well we're gonna have a guy on the subway for you. How did the idea start? I made it a New Year's resolution a few years ago. I'd give a dollar, or I'd give money every time someone asked. And I made it, like, two weeks. Cause it was like 20 dollars a day. [laughter] And I don't have any money. but I didn't want to give up on it, cause it would make me feel really bad to stop doing that. So I was thinking with my limited resources, and my limited skillset, what can I do? And the idea kinda came from that. And I was sitting on it for a long time. Like we all sit on good ideas we have. And I had one of those New York City days, those bad days, where I went back to my apartment, and I said like, "I gotta do something, or I'm gonna lose it." So I went into the subway that night, and I did it, and people responded to it. So I said, "I'm gonna keep doing this..."