Tag Archives: charity

Shenanigans to Save Haiti!

Who said New Yorkers were heartless?! On the contrary the creative community of NYC has come out in full force to present amazing events to benefit the people of Haiti. As I’ve browsed events, and worked on G&S listings this week I have been struck by the number of performances, parties and restaurants who are giving their profits to organizations like The Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Here are a selection of such events…

Tonight I Am Ayiti (Haiti) at the Caribbean Cultural Center will feature DJ Laylo on the 1s and 2s, Kalunga Neg Mawon, Tiga Jean-Baptiste & T’Chaka and Jhon Clarke (formerly of Black Parents). The CCCADI is a drop off location for supplies; you can donate first aid supplies and hygiene items.

Saturday night at Lab 24/7 there will a very hot concert to benefit Doctors Without Borders. The event, called Kombit, meaning ‘to come together for the good of the community’ in Haitian creole, will feature Mr. REO, the consummate Haitian via Brooklyn rapper; Ayanna Witter-Johnson, a unique young composer, song-writer, vocalist, cellist and pianist; and Akua Taylor, a singer with soulful African influences.

Also on Saturday, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, you can enjoy a night of comedy to benefit Haiti relief efforts. Zach Galifianakis, Britt Daniel (of Spoon), Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), St. Vincent, Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac (of the Daily Show) and others will be making you laugh, all the name of charity.

My pick of the bunch is the concert titled Horns for Haiti, happening at The Living Theater on Sunday; the Hungry March Band, Raya Brass Band, and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra are performing for a night of badass brass, haitian drumming, and ample dancing. I have seen all three of these bands perform and each one individually is enough to make your night truly fantastic. Check out this picture of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra at Coney Island:

Rude Mechanical Orchestra

Also on Sunday, you are morally obligated to eat out! To be specific, you are morally obligated to eat out at one of the 40+ restaurants in NYC who are donating 10% of their profits on Sunday to Haitian relief efforts. Check out the list of participating restaurants and make your reservations today; it’s luxury for a good cause!

On Wednesday Music vs. Hunger is doing a special show to benefit Haiti (their shows usually benefit the food banks of NYC). Go to Bruar Falls for performances by Breakfast in Fur, No Eye Contact, El Medio and  Drew Citron.

Stay tuned for updates, follow me on twitter for the latest, and if you can’t make any of these events please consider making a donation to The Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders (or some other organization of your choice).

Media That Matters

I have been meaning to tell you all about the Media That Matters Film Festival for some time; I went to see the premier a couple of weeks ago with K and we were both very impressed with a number of the short films. The films showcase important social issues and are designed to raise awareness; the site can then direct you to charities that work to combat the issues being addressed.

I can’t seem to embed the videos here but they are all available to watch on the festival website.

K and I particularly liked The Next Wave, directed and produced by Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger, which tells the story of the Carteret islanders. Their island homes are being flooded due to climate change and they will soon be forced to relocate to the mainland, losing much of their culture in the process. The colors are startling and the film is beautiful as well as compelling. What was most interesting to both of us was that the issue of Global Warming, though at the heart of the film, was never directly mentioned. You were left with a much deeper understanding of the impact that it’s already having without the distraction of innumerable statistics.

The other film we were both especially drawn to was Why Do White People Have Black Spots?, directed by Anya Kandel. The film is simply an interview with a group of young people in Ghana; their questions about Western Society are part of an ongoing dialogue between youth around the world. Some of the questions, like the title question, were funny, while others, such as “why are you rich and we’re poor?” were more focused on the larger disparities. K and I both felt that hearing a variety of questions coming from children was significantly closer to real communication than our diplomats tend to get.

Please check out the films and consider giving a donation to help the efforts of the wonderful people who are working to save the world (it’s splendid that they’re out there as not all of us are of their ilk).