Stand up for Arts Charity Concert on May 21
It seems that we wake up every day now to a fresh batch of horror; so much scandal and corruption that it feels impossible to keep track, let alone make any kind of tangible difference. In reading tips about self care during these difficult times, I have discovered one way to maintain a semblance of sanity is to focus on doing good where you can, even if your circle of influence doesn’t reach all the way to Washington.
When the White House released its initial draft of the 2018 budget, it was rightly met with shock, indignation and anger over its proposal to eliminate several important agencies and organizations, including one that immediately jumped out at me: the National Endowment for the Arts. As someone who grew up playing music from a young age, I know firsthand the benefits it has and the opportunities it presents to young children. The idea of American kids being deprived of a well-rounded education so we could build a few more fighter jets appalled me, and I decided to take action.
In the months since I first came up with the idea, Congress has thankfully extended funding for these organizations through the fiscal year; however, we cannot get complacent. Sustained, visible protests against our government’s actions are how we ensure our voices are heard. And while I wanted to make a statement, I also wanted to do good for our community.
Stand up for Arts: A Solidarity Concert is an afternoon where all of those in the local community can come together and voice their support for the arts and their opposition to the devastating cuts proposed by our administration. Performances will be by local residents who have been positively impacted by the arts – whether they are professional musicians or not. The point is to celebrate the positive impact of music on our lives and to loudly proclaim our support for the continuation of arts funding in our city, state, and throughout the country.
The concert will be volunteer-run and free to all who attend, but donations will be accepted on behalf of Rosie’s House, a local music academy that provides instruments and free lessons to lower income children throughout the Valley. While our federal government may not believe that the services provided by organizations such as Rosie’s House are important, we all know differently and can voice our opposition through support for our local children. There will also be the opportunity for attendees to fill out a postcard to Arizona politicians urging them to support the arts going forward. With so much at stake, silence is not an option.
As a community, we all understand the power of music; let us use that power to let our administration know that we will not stand by and allow them to take away the opportunities that were so formative to us, and that have the potential to change the lives of Arizona’s children.
As a community, we all understand the importance of holding on to our values in difficult and challenging times, and making a conscious effort to spread love and goodwill in order to counteract the anger, stress and downright hate we have been witnessing.
As a community, let’s come together and spend an afternoon supporting each other while enjoying beautiful music, and fight back against those who would take it away from us and future generations.
Concert details are as follows:
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2017
Time: 2:30 pm
Location: First United Methodist Church of Phoenix 5510 N. Central Ave Phoenix, AZ 85012
Cost: Free to all, but donations are being raised for Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children. More information about Rosie’s House is available at rosieshouse.org
Unable to attend, but still want to contribute? You can do so online: http://rosieshouse.org/support/donate/
Gust blog by Lisa U.