Friday, October 9, 2009

Local Artists Support Human Rights

Buffalo, NY) - On Oct 4, 2009 Musicians and Artists gathered to support human rights in Buffalo, New York during Violence Awareness month. This event was in direct support of two organizations that deal with violence on separate levels: Prevent Child Abuse NY( including the Erie County Task Force On Child Abuse & Neglect Erie County) and Maiti Nepal (including the U.S. Affiliation, Friends of Maiti Nepal.)

12n - 7pm Sunday, this non stop music and art festival (originally slated at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval Park aboard the USS Little Rock) was rescheduled by event coordinator, Susan Marie due to inclement weather. Natalie DeSilva, director of catering at 76 Pearl Street, donated 3 floors of the venue to "Artists United For Human Rights."

Prevent Child Abuse NY is a growing movement to prevent child abuse before it occurs. The Citizens Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect is a grassroots child abuse prevention coalition in Erie County. "Buffalo Musicians and artists are proving to be strong advocates for children.", said Christine Deyss, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse NY. "With our colleagues from the Citizens Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, we are tremendously excited and grateful for their coming together to help prevent child abuse and victimization." The Citizens Task Force seeks to provide a unified voice for children, "Because the voice of the community is louder than the voice of a child."

Maiti Nepal is a social organization that works to find justice for victimized girls and women by engaging in criminal investigation and waging legal battles against criminals. It has highlighted the sexual trafficking issue with its strong advocacy from the local, national to international levels. Ms. Anuradha Koirala, founder and director of Maiti Nepal added, "They [women and children] are working to help their sisters and they know the horror of the victims. Society rejects me and my girls, but they are the most important thing in my life."

Susan Marie, event coordinator of "Artists United For Human Rights" is pleased and grateful for the tremendous support from the Buffalo, WNY and Erie County communities. "Noa Bursie (Buffalo musician) and myself formulated this event in late June 2009 after viewing a PBS documentary, The Day My God Died", by Andrew Levine. It propelled us to wish to do something to aid the sexual trafficking and abuse issues highlighted in the film." An outpouring of support from Buffalo and WNY musicians and artists fell into place immediately, as well as support form local business and organizations. "I literally had to turn down musicians because the slots filled that quickly. Local and National artisans were joyed to donate 20% of their sales from the event to both organizations while all the musicians agreed to perform for free.", said Marie. "On Oct 4, when I entered Pearl Street Grill, I was humbled by the dedication and support of our community."

Susan continues, "Considering the sudden onset of extreme rain, wind and cold, the away Buffalo Bills game and the venue change within a day, the event was a huge success. The most important thing to me was to bring awareness to human rights focusing on sex abuse issues that are rarely recognized or spoken of. All parties involved have gone not only local, but national and international as far as recognition by the United Nations in Geneva. The monies are still coming in, but the support came directly from the WNY community. It is integral that our sponsors, musicians and artists gain recognition. If not for their support, this event would never have come to fruition."

Musicians who donated their time: Noa Bursie, Emile Latimer, Lance Diamond, The BloodThirsty Vegans, Joni Russ, Van Taylor Project, Gruvology, Ron Walker & The Exoutics, Rob Falgiano, Derek McKeith, Mandrill, Joyce Wilson Nixon, Free Henry!, Buffalo Select Chorus, Lenny Revell, and Sons of the King.

Artists who donated: Bass Reeves, Tara Nova, Memorable Creations, Artfully Aware, Nomad Magazine, Poet Tree Magazine, Eco-Scents, MB Originals, MB Originals, Allen Street Connection, Heritage Press, Cultural Niagara, Max Gabriel (Nami-NYS) and Egg Art.

Organizations/Volunteers: Youth for Human Rights International, National Center for Domestic Violence, Sisters of Mercy, International Justice Mission, NAMI-NYS, Citizens Task Force on Child Abuse & Neglect Erie County, Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCorps Vista, Free Henry! street team, World March for Peace & Non-Violence, Serve.Gov, Million Voices Campaign and Euphraxia Dance.

Event sponsors/silent auction: Buffalo & Erie County Naval Park, Pearl Street Grill, Think Twice Radio, Van Taylor Production, Nomad Magazine, Poet Tree Magazine, Teresa Reile, Electric Life/DIOS Music, Laverne Edmond Enterprises, Rose Salley Photography, Righteous Babe Records, Einat Aigmon Jewelry, Lonnie B's Beads, ee Photography, Olmstead Parks (ParkSide Lodge), Salvatore's Italian Gardens, Ilio DiPaolo's, Blackthorn Restaurant, Tops Markets, Kaleidoscope Theatre, Jewish Repertory Theatre, Road Less Traveled Productions, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tara Nova, Eco-Scents, Memorable Creations, The Metal Shop, MP2 Design, Regal Tip DrumSticks, Outer Limits Recording Studio, Syracuse Cultural Workers, Bass Reeves, Stylin Tattoo, Bishop Perry Davis, Z Pilatez, Rand & Jones, Crown Collision, Ron Daniels (President Local AFM # 92), Tara Gift Shop, UB Center for the Arts, Cultural Niagara, Buffalo Heritage Unlimited, Three2Go Music, Hyatt's, and over 40 musicians that donated their own CDS for a silent auction.

Media Sponsors: WBFO, WBNY, WBLK, WUFO, 97 Rock, 103.3 The Edge, WKBW AM Buffalo, Channel 7 News, Nightlife, YNN Time Warner, Buffalo Rising, Arts Council Erie County, Susan Marie Public Relations, Think Twice Radio, as well as numerous National and International networks.

"I need to search for a new definition of "humble.", says Marie. People have asked me when are we going to do this again?" This shows the heart of this community and that people do indeed wish to be a part of positive global change. I applied for approximately 30 corporate grants that were denied over 3-4 months. It is through the musicians, artists, local business and community of Buffalo, WNY and Erie County listed above that the organizations in need are able to be supported at all. When considering everyone involved did this for free, that gift alone is worth more than anything material."

# # #

Susan Marie
New York USA 2009

No comments: