September 25, 2022

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DEAR EVAN HANSEN & Blueberry Announce Metaverse Fundraiser in Support of Mental Health Awareness Month

Dear Evan Hansen

In honor of May’s Mental Health Awareness month, Dear Evan Hansen, the Tony, Grammy, Olivier-Award winning Broadway musical, is partnering with Blueberry Entertainment, the industry’s leading digital fashion brand, to launch an innovative metaverse fundraising event. Beginning Friday, May 13, 2022, a digital version of the show’s iconic blue striped polo will be available for purchase on Roblox, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Child Mind Institute, the not-for-profit dedicated to transforming the lives of children struggling with mental health disorders and learning disorders. In parallel, as part of a partnership with two members of the genre-defining Bored Ape Yacht Club community, two Bored Apes will be dressed in the same blue-striped polo (#5430 and #5838). This partnership will draw attention to Mental Health Awareness Month and also include a donation to the Child Mind Institute. This marks the first time ever that a Broadway show is releasing digital fashion items to multiple metaverse communities.

The blue-striped polo worn by the protagonist in Dear Evan Hansen, now part of The Smithsonian’s permanent collection, has become a symbol of a global yearning for connection – more relevant than ever after two-plus years of a worldwide pandemic. Through this collaboration with Blueberry, audiences will be able to engage with the polo like never before.

The wearable version of the polo sold on Roblox, a leading global metaverse platform with over 55 million daily users, prioritizes accessibility, with an affordable price point (200 Robux / $2.50) and dozens of avatar and outfit customization options. With self-expression being an important part of kids and teens’ experience on the platform, Dear Evan Hansen and Blueberry are meeting the next generation where they spend time with their friends socializing and wearing new fashion items daily, including in support of important social causes. 100% of all proceeds generated will go directly to the Child Mind Institute, a leading non-profit focused on children’s mental health.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs – unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain – that showcases the power and potential of web3 technologies and digital communities. The two Bored Apes (#5430 and #5838), designed and dressed by Blueberry in the blue-striped polo, will draw ongoing awareness to the importance of mental health in digital communities and the web3 ecosystem.

This first-of-its-kind partnership showcases the rise in popularity of digital fashion, a driving force behind self-expression and digital identity across dozens of metaverse communities. Digital fashion is already an enormous business with billions of dollars in sales each year across some of the largest gaming and social platforms. For example, last year one in five of Roblox’s daily users updated their avatars on any given day. Compared to traditional fashion, digital fashion is more sustainable, scalable, and infinitely creative. It empowers designers to release products to market in days as opposed to months and transforms the traditional fashion model to one of ‘accessibility’ versus ‘exclusivity’.”

“Everyone at Dear Evan Hansen is very proud that Evan’s blue-striped polo has become a recognizable symbol of the search for connection,” says Dear Evan Hansen producer Stacey Mindich said. “For several years, we have sold a replica of the onstage polo, with a percentage of profits going to our mental health not-for-profit partners. Now, we are excited to offer this polo to multiple metaverse communities, as the first Broadway show to partner with a digital fashion company, bringing live theater to a whole new audience, while also continuing our focus on philanthropy and mental health wellness.”

“Blueberry is thrilled to be partnering with Dear Evan Hansen and The Child Mind Institute to support a cause which is so relevant to our community,” Mishi McDuff, Founder and CEO of Blueberry Entertainment commented. “Blueberry’s brand ethos is built upon accessibility, inclusivity and togetherness, all of which align closely with Mental Health Awareness month. We hope this is just the start of the metaverse’s collaborations with charities, being a force for good in the physical world as well as the digital.”

Harold Koplewicz, MD, president of the Child Mind Institute, comments: “The Child Mind Institute has been a proud partner of Dear Evan Hansen since the very beginning, when we provided consultation on mental health themes during the show’s development. The way the musical captures the challenges of being a parent and explores the ‘invisible’ struggles of teenagers with mental health challenges is as relevant now as when it premiered. We are so grateful that the producers of Dear Evan Hansen have chosen to give back so much to the mental health community through cause marketing in the past, and we are excited to be the beneficiary of this new adventure in the Metaverse.”

Declared “One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history” by the Washington Post’s Peter Marks, Dear Evan Hansen opened at the Music Box Theatre to rave reviews on December 4, 2016, where it’s broken all box office records and struck a chord with critics and audiences alike. It went on to win six 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show launched its First North American Tour at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado in October 2018, now in its 3rd year (after a pandemic hiatus). The show’s newest production is playing at the Noël Coward Theatre in London, where it won the 2020 Olivier Award-winner for Best Musical. The Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Dear Evan Hansen, produced by Atlantic Records, was released in February 2017, making an extraordinary debut on the Billboard 200 and entering the chart at #8 – the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961 – and went on to win the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Dear Evan Hansen features a book by Tony Award-winner Steven Levenson (Fosse/Verdon), a score by Grammy®, Tony® and Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman), and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal). For more information, visit www.dearevanhansen.com.

ABOUT BLUEBERRY

Blueberry empowers self-expression through digital fashion in the metaverse. As users increasingly socialize in digital worlds, Blueberry believes digital fashion will be the driving force behind user identity. Digital fashion is more sustainable and accessible than physical fashion and offers an infinitely creative canvas for product creation and scalable distribution. Founded by Mishi McDuff in 2012 as a solo creator on Second Life, Blueberry is the leading brand in this fast-growing market. Blueberry has sold 20+ million digital wearables, amassed a library of 10,000+ digital SKUs optimized for hundreds of design attributes, and scaled an engaged community of loyal customers. Blueberry is already live on multiple metaverse platforms, and is actively expanding its brand and community to other web2 and web3 metaverses.

For more information, visit www.blueberry.inc

ABOUT CHILD MIND INSTITUTE

The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders by giving them the help they need. We’ve become the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health by providing gold-standard evidence-based care, delivering educational resources to millions of families each year, training educators in underserved communities, and developing tomorrow’s breakthrough treatments. Learn more at childmind.org.