Since Hurricane Katrina, the Future of Music Coalition, a nationwide coalition of musician activists, has staged retreats and concerts in New Orleans to benefit local entities. The seventh installment, at the Blue Nile, features Bonerama with Cody Chesnutt, DJ Spooky/That Subliminal Kid, Helen Bruner and Terry Jones, Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson of Tsunami, M1 of Dead Prez, Sunpie Barnes and more; proceeds benefit Sweet Home New Orleans and the Gulf Restoration Network.
Air-Traffic Control and the Future of Music Coalition are institutions that exist to help musicians to play a part in social justice, having assembled a web of people and resources that allow them to more cohesively and effectively collaborate with each other and with other social institutions.
Since 2006, the two organizations have been teaming up for “artist activism” retreats in New Orleans. The retreats give artists—some already known for their activism, such as Tom Morello, Mike Mills of R.E.M., and Boots Riley of the Coup—an opportunity to interact with and directly benefit New Orleans and our people in this post-Katrina and BP oil disaster city.
The Dear NOLA Benefit Concert, which raises money for the Louisiana nonprofit organizations Sweet Home New Orleans and Gulf Restoration Network, goes down February 17 at Blue Nile in New Orleans. The New Orleans brass band Bonerama will play with guests like Mirah, members of Rogue Wave and DeVotchKa, DJ Spooky, Cody ChesnuTT, Sage Francis, Dead Prez’s M1, and Tsunami’s Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson.
For the past five years, Future of Music Coalition has worked alongside Air Traffic Control — a nonprofit that supports musicians and music managers in their efforts to create positive social change — to improve conditions for New Orleans’ cultural ambassadors.
FMC and ATC’s artist activism retreats in New Orleans bring established and developing musical talent to the Big Easy to talk about ways to incorporate advocacy and philanthropy into their lives and careers. Attendees experience the vibrant culture of New Orleans while talking to residents about efforts to rehabilitate the neighborhoods and communities most affected by Hurricane Katrina. read more
[Last week, FMC wrapped up our sixth Artist Activism Camp in New Orleans, where we hung out with a buncha incredible musicians and talked about ways they can work for positive social change in their lives and careers. As always, there was an incredible show to benefit NOLA do-gooders Sweet Home New Orleans. We wanted to give our readers a bit more flavor — mmm, tastes like gumbo! — so we asked our Events Coordinator (and AAC vet), Chhaya Kapadia, to give us a behind-the-scenes report.]
Back from New Orleans trip #6 and I'm happy to report that the city felt more refreshed this time. As I've mentioned in previous posts at my personal site, I was there to hang out with a smart, thoughtful, committed group of musicians to talk about about activism for a few days, after which the artists all put on a fantastic group rock show at One Eyed Jacks.
I know it's easy to forget about New Orleans when it's been nearly five years since Hurricane Katrina and there have been earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Iran, Pakistan, and China, a tsunami in Southeast Asia — not to mention all the smaller and man-made disasters that don't inspire telethons. But New Orleans belongs to all of us: the music community and America. It's the birthplace of so much American music and we stand to lose a part of what makes us unique if we let it slip away for lack of effort. read more
NEWORLEANS, LA—Ryan Dobrowski + Israel Nebeker (Blind Pilot), Rebecca Gates, Thao Nguyen (Thao with the Get Down Stay Down), Toshi Reagon, Matana Roberts, Jill Sobule, Jon Theodore (One Day As A Lion), New Orleans’ very own Bonerama and more will celebrate New Orleans, her community and its musical ambassadors for Musicians Bringing Musicians Home VI at One Eyed Jacks (615 Toulouse Street) on Friday, March 26 at 10pm.
We're incredibly excited about the latest Artist Activism Camp (our sixth!) and its live benefit concert finale, Musicians Bringing Musicians Home. This year's event, which takes place at One Eye Jacks in New Orleans on Friday, March 26, 2010. read more