Official Press Release for HERE FOR HAITI
GLOUCESTER IS HERE FOR HAITI
On Saturday, February 6th, 2010, the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church presents HERE FOR HAITI: Raising Song, Spirit & Help for Haiti.
GLOUCESTER, MA. Saturday, February 6, 2010. Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church. 10 Church St. Gloucester MA. 7pm. $10. All ages. All proceeds to Partners in Health (working in Haiti for over 20 years) HERE FOR HAITI will include performances by What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?, Sarah Rabdau, Kristen Miller, HUM, Dan King, an African drum ensemble, dancers, and other special guests. Hosted by Chloe Erdmann and U.U. Minister, Steve Wilson.
In July of 2006, Chloe Erdmann visited Port-Au-Prince and Jacmel, Haiti, with a group of dancers led by choreographer, Jean Appolon and musician, Juju, (both from Haiti.) The U.S. visitors were welcomed into the community and participated in rituals, including Jean’s initiation ceremony as a Vodou Priest, and a pilgrimage to Saut d’Eau waterfall in Ville Bonheur. Chloe fondly remembers the experience, “The emphasis on community sharing, helping and healing was palpable and contagious. And the dancing! I really don’t know how, but all ages danced during these rituals for days–and I mean that quite literally. It was nothing short of amazing. My friends and I would collapse at the end of the day and be dazzled by the idea that people were still dancing and would be up earlier than we would the following morning and at it again. If dancing is any measure of joy in the soul, they have it to overflowing.”
Despite abominable conditions in health care, education, and access to clean water, Chloe was astounded by the unshakable spirit, pride and generosity in which she was surrounded.
“There was an instance when I truly witnessed how desperate the situation was concerning health care. A rainstorm had flooded the concrete channels on either side of the road and a motorcyclist had skidded off the side and broken his leg. A woman passing by had managed to get him in the back of her station wagon and was looking for any kind of medical attention in the area. Two Haitian pilgrim/hitchhikers we had picked up in our truck gave their towels to help stop the bleeding on the way to the closest medical facility (an hour away.) Giving up towels may seem like nothing to us, but I later found out that those were their towels for the year. This is only one story, but it is one that haunts me when I imagine the scale of damage done to such a beautiful country by this earthquake. If a towel can help, every bit helps, and we need to help our neighbors much as we can!”
Chloe met Brian King first as fan of his band, What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? Through her friendship with Brian, she fell in love with Gloucester, spending the Summer of 2008 on Cape Ann, before moving to Scotland to earn her PhD in Comparative Religion and Theology. She happened to be back in Massachusetts when the earthquake hit, and immediately she and Brian approached the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church about creating a benefit. The church board was eager to sponsor the event.
Regarding the benefit, Brian says, “I strongly believe that when tragedies happen in places that are out of our reach, many feel powerless to help. Coming together where we are, HERE, helps strengthen our energy, vision and ability to make a difference. It pulls us out of isolation, to join in effort and voice. We have the power to help right HERE by raising funds that will go where they are needed most.”
Chloe also spoke about seeing Partners in Health in action. “When I saw the hospital that Partner In Health supports, it was one of the most hopeful sights there concerning the medical situation. Paul Farmer knows Haiti, Haitians, and the situation intimately. PIH comes highly recommended by the group I visited Haiti with- both the Haitians and the Americans – and I feel confident to donate the proceeds to their good work.”
Brian has pulled together great talent from Gloucester and Boston for HERE FOR HAITI. Boston singer-songwriter, pianist, Sarah Rabdau was a finalist in WBCN Rock-n-Roll Rumble last year. Her latest video, “Autumn Spills” is getting rotation on BRAVO.
Brian’s own band, What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? sold out their CD release party at the Gloucester Stage Company, and the band keeps getting bigger. They will be joined by the newly added back-up singers, The Furies, which bring Fox’s original songs to new heights.
Mr. Fox will also be joined by songwriter and cellist, Kristen Miller, who will also offer her own set of Middle Eastern infused compositions, as well as the best cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” ever heard.
Local music staple Dan King will open the night with his rootsy sound that is known to turn any audience into a family. Local songwriter and artist, Deb Hardy will perform with her vocal group, HUM.
The night will also feature an African Drum ensemble and both traditional and contemporary dance. A speaker from Partners in Health will explain exactly where and how funds will be used.
“For ten dollars you’re going to experience a great night,” Brian King promises. “And you’re going to be glad that you’re HERE FOR HAITI.”
Please, contact Brian King firstname.lastname@example.org for high-resolution pictures of the Saut d’Eau Waterfall taken by Chloe, Chloe in Haiti, and images of the performers.
OTHER IMPORTANT LINKS:
Partners in Health: http://act.pih.org/page/event/detail/wrwf
What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?: http://www.whattimeisitmrfox.com
Sarah Rabdau: http://www.sarahrabdau.com
Dan King: http://www.danielscottking.com
Kristen Miller: http://www.cellobrew.com