Perspective from New York Regional Committee member, Stanley Kules.
Have you ever walked out of an event feeling like you had just been part of something really special? Well, I can tell you that I definitively shared that experience with an audience who enjoyed an evening of great music performed by passionate, talented artists on July 30th at City Winery.
The concert was the third, and final, in a series of benefit shows entitled Reclaim the Coast that raised money for Global Green's efforts to help restore the Gulf Coast.
All the necessary pieces for a special event were in place. The venue, City Winery, is a uniquely gorgeous space that looks like an old carriage house with a stage, fine dining restaurant and a high-end winery.
The crowd consisted of people who appreciate good music and recognize the extent of the havoc that the BP oil spill has wreaked the environment and the local economy in the Gulf.
The artists, listed below, clearly recognized that they were performing for a higher cause as was evidenced by their performances.
The event opened with a poignant video produced by Global Green about the impact of the oil spill on the local communities. Global Green's Paige Costello then spoke about our involvement in providing assistance with the cleanup. By this point, everybody had a strong sense of how their contribution, however small, was going to make a difference to folks who really need our assistance.
The music started with Martin Rivas. Between songs he shared some choice words about how he felt about the devastation which then powered his emotions behind his music. I spoke with Martin after the show and he had this to say:
"Like many folks, I was devastated by the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the loss of life there, and this horrific ecological tragedy that has ensued. I don't believe that BP or our government fully understand the breadth of the tragedy, its permanent effect on the Gulf of Mexico, and how many millions of families and livelihoods are going to be permanently affected. I'm thankful for organizations like Global Green."
Each of the artists, that followed, played three songs and each time I felt that the artist and the crowd really connected and relished every moment. This was no ordinary concert.
The show closed with a rousing performance by Among the Oak and Ash. The lead, Josh Joplin, channeled Buddy Holly as he got the audience to its feet for a really entertaining song called "New York City, New York". Check it out at http://www.myspace.com/amongtheoakandash.
So, even if you were not one of the lucky attendees you can still be part of the bigger picture. The bigger picture, of course, would be to help Reclaim the Coast.