For decades superstar entertainers have done benefit concerts to raise funds for causes they believed in. I will always remember the 1971 Concert For Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar for the relief of refugees from East Pakistan during the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities and Bangladesh Liberation War. The event drew 40,000 people and was the first benefit concert of this magnitude in world history. It featured Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Badfinger, and Ringo Starr.
The popular summer music festival, Bonnaroo donated $50,000 to Music City flood relief efforts and of course Nashville’s elite songwriters made enormous donations to the flood victims but you don’t have to be a rock-star or billionaire to make a difference.
I’ve heard from artists and crafters who feel called to make a contribution to aid recent disaster victims but think they must have name recognition like sea-life artist and environmental educator Wyland to be taken seriously. Not so.
Local musicians and indi crafters at the Chattanooga Market are sending proceeds from their art to Nashville flood aid and you can make a difference with your craft too. While the magnitude of these issues may feel overwhelming, every little bit helps.
Craft Hope for Haiti has an Etsy store where artist donate the profits to Doctor’s without Borders. Crafting a Green World and Etsy list artists and groups who are using their craft to raise funds for Earthquake victims.
Needleworkers and fiber artists making wash cloths for wiping the fragile birds and sea turtles in the gulf. Yarn shops are donating wool to clean up the oil.
And if you think any effort you make is too small to make a difference, consider eleven year old Olivia Bouler of New York who has raised $70,000 from donations for her bird drawings for the audubon society to help birds in the gulf oil spill. She said, “I want to help, and I want to make a difference and show that the birds are important, and we need to preserve them.” Olivia’s mother, a teacher, says her daughter has proved what she’s always told students: “you can make a difference, and I pretty much believed it,” she says. “But now I know it is truly possible.”
What can you do with your art, your music or other talent that can make a difference?
As always, you are invited to share here. We’d all love to know how you are using your gifts to benefit the world.