Founded in 2006, Purple Songs Can Fly is a unique program that provides a musical outlet for the many children being treated for cancer and blood disorders at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. In this program, which is the first of its kind, the children and their siblings work with founder, Anita Kruse, and other professional singer/songwriters in an in-hospital recording studio to write and record their original songs within short sessions.
These children are given a highly creative, much needed musical environment to express their many and varied thoughts and feelings. The children are then able to share their music with friends and family.
In 2011, Purple Songs Can Fly created a portable recording studio which now enables the composers to work with in-patient children at their bedsides to write and record their own songs. Additionally, in 2012, Purple Songs Can Fly began partnering with Voice America Kids Network to produce an online radio show hosted by pediatric cancer survivors, and featuring the children's songs and interviews with doctors, nurses, and special guests. In 2013, Purple Songs Can Fly also began collaborating with the Houston Symphony; in this program, Symphony musicians visit the Purple Songs Can Fly studio and provide musical accompaniment to the children's songs.
Purple Songs not only can fly, but do fly. The children’s songs are copied on purple CDs or fly drives and flown by participating passengers, pilots and astronauts to places on earth and into space. To date, thousands of songs have been written, recorded and flown around the globe and beyond. The songs have flown on two space shuttle missions, been heard on the in-flight playlists of both Continental and United Airlines, toured the world with The Rolling Stones, traveled on an undersea NOAA mission, summited Mount Everest, flown with the Blue Angels, and visited the undersea site of the Titanic. Notably, the children of Purple Songs Can Fly performed the world premiere of their song Celebration of Hope at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
In 2015, the first Purple Songs Can Fly musical, Journey To Hope, was created and performed by six long term survivors, inspired by the songs they each wrote in the Purple Songs Can Fly studio during treatment. The musical has now become a multi-award winning documentary, Journey To Hope.
During the pandemic, Hope Can Happen, the musical sequel to Journey To Hope, was created and enjoyed its first performance in June 2023.
As the dreams, wishes, thoughts, feelings, and imaginations of these children take wing through the creativity of music, it is the vision of Purple Songs Can Fly that soaring, flying, and rising above the obstacles of illness can truly become a reality as each purple song that flies creates a tangible symbol for the hope of healing.