If you are feeling lost or helpless because of recent events in our country, Concert For America is a solution. Not only will you be entertained but you will be presented ways to take action. Brash musical numbers, real people making real change telling their stories, and being in a room surrounded by people who share ideals all combine for a unique entertainment experience.
Countrywide Place of Hope
The concept of Concert For America was first brought to light on January 20, 2017, inauguration day. It was meant to be a beacon of hope for those disillusioned with the recent election. It also raised funds for various organizations with goals to make real change in the world contrary to the incoming administration.
Since then, it has continued as a monthly concert to continue to raise awareness and funds for these organizations. The concerts are live-streamed online so that anyone in the world may view them. Seth Rudetsky, one of the founders of this event, refers to it as a “fuel stop” once a month to regain some good feeling among all the hate in the world.
The first concert outside New York City was held here in Chicago at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. The audience immediately enthralled. The cast included such Broadway veterans as Chita Rivera and Alice Ripley. There were local acts like the Chicago Children’s Choir and fifteen-year-old pianist Emily Baer.
Musical Legends Come Together
The musical talent was more than abundant. The show opened with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by the Chicago Children’s Choir. This was followed by the entire cast of the concert coming on stage to sing “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” This set the stage for what the night was to be like. It would be full of beautiful music and surprises. Some highlights were local Chicagoan Lynne Jordan leading a sing-a-long of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and Alex Newell entrancing the audience with his rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been.” If these acts are any indication, musical theatre fans and music fans in general will not be remotely disappointed at future concerts.
Not Just Musical Numbers
If you are a newcomer to Concert For America, you will be pleased to know there is substance beyond the immaculate musical performances. You will also be witness to brave individuals telling deeply personal stories of struggle and triumph. One woman shared a terrifying story of domestic abuse which ended in a warm standing ovation from the audience. Yuri Sardarov of television’s Chicago Fire shared a harrowing story of how he came to emigrate to the United States as a baby with his family. Instead of focusing on the horrors of the country they were fleeing, the story focused on those that helped his family while asking for nothing in return.
What Can You Do?
If you are not able to physically attend a Concert For America, you can still be a part of it. You can stream it live. You can donate money directly to the organizations they support or the organizations that sponsor the concerts. If you are unable to give, you can share the concert and spread the word. One of the messages the organizers try to get across is that no action is too small.
All photos by Kat Fitzgerald
Top Pick For: Those looking for a way to take action and music fans
Not recommended for: Supporters of the current presidential administration
Next Concert For America will be held on April 18, 2017 at 8pm
Next Concert For America will be in in New York City
123 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
Tickets & Live Stream Available:
Organizations To Support
Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.splcenter.org/
Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence https://www.ncadv.org/
National Immigration Law Center https://www.nilc.org/
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) http://www.naacp.org/