In northeast Ohio, we were lucky that Hurricane Sandy was far less dangerous than it could have been, and did nowhere near the damage that was seen in other areas of the country. Winds, rain, and some basement flooding in Kent was nothing compared to the extensive flooding, power loss, and devastation seen along the Atlantic Coast of New York and New Jersey, especially. Seeing that Kent is not in heavy recovery mode itself right now, that it is the season for caring and giving, and that the cold we have been fortunate enough to avoid this long will not stay away all winter, some of us have felt the need to give to those less fortunate than ourselves. It is in that sense that “Songs of Hope: Music from Kent to NYC” was born.
Songs of Hope is a noncert- or a concert in digital space, without a physical location. The event site is on Facebook, but that does not mean that you can not get together some of your friends to participate in a house party, or meet at a local coffee shop, or that you can not invite friends and family anywhere in the world to this same thing. The goal of Songs of Hope is to raise funds for nine vetted charities in New York that are helping in the relief efforts and making a difference, and to raise awareness of some of the many issues brought up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We are accomplishing this goal in a thoroughly Kent way, through music and innovative cooperation.
From 3PM until 7PM on December 9th, on the Facebook event page, we will be posting songs of social justice every five minutes, along with a piece of data from Hurricane Sandy. The songs will be grouped into groups of six, for a half-hour block on each topic and devoted to each charity. Individuals are invited and encouraged to participate in the way that they are most comfortable, whether that is posting additional songs, commenting and discussing, chatting with other participants, learning about the issues presented, and if possible, donating a small amount to a charity of your choice.
In a time of changing definition of “community,” this is one attempt at using both geographic communities and social communities in concert as a means to achieve a beneficial end. It is an experiment, to be sure, but the only truly failed experiment is one that’s never tried, so take a chance, pop online when you can for a bit, listen to some music, enjoy some open discussion, and see what can happen this coming Sunday. We have chosen music from a wide array of sources from the 1930’s to the present day, so it is unlikely you’ll hear nothing that you like, and you can always share some of your favorites, as well. What is the worst that can happen- waste a little time on a Sunday afternoon? Is that really such a bad thing after all? I hope to see you there!