October 31, 2005

Singers Put on Katrina Benefit

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Nine student groups presented Cornell Arts Speak Out yesterday at Appel Commons to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina relief.

“We wanted to bring together performing arts groups because, as performing arts groups, we have the power to change things,” said Cynthia Newell ’07, a member of both the Touchtones and BASE Productions who took a major role in organizing the show.

The show began with a “video of images from New Orleans, showing the aftermath and destruction of the hurricane to remind people why we need to come together as a campus and send aid to New Orleans,” said Penny Burke ’06, a member of Pandora Dance Troupe.

The Hangovers, the Chai Notes, BASE, the Class Notes, Impact Dance Troupe, the Key Elements, the Touchtones, Cayuga Waiters and the Choridals performed at the sow. The groups donated all the money Community Development paid them to perform, approximately $1,000, to Katrina relief.

“It’s a really good opportunity for student groups to show their support for victims of hurricanes and Tulane students at Cornell,” said Cassie Bigelow ’07, the vice president of the Key Elements.

Admission was free, but all audience members who donated at least $2 to Katrina relief were entered into a raffle. Prizes included CDs from a capella groups, gift certificates, iPod products and DVDs of the television show The OC. By the show’s intermission, approximately $200 had been collected.

“All funds raised will be donated to the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and UNICEF via Music for Relief,” Newell said.

Cornell Arts Speak Out organizers tried to get Cornell Dining involved and asked them to donate one dollar or similar amount from all meals purchased on Sunday morning. According to Mazdak Asgary ’08, one of the event organizers, Cornell Dining could not participate since they receive so many donation requests but thought Katrina relief was a very worth cause.

“We were expecting a full room, but we’re at 30-40 people,” said Debbie Chen ’07, a Residential Advisor in Dickson. “The show didn’t turn out exactly as we had originally planned, but we still got good stuff.”

The event was held in Appel’s multipurpose room.

Cornell Arts Speak Out coincided with the programming for First-Year Family Weekend but was not organized by them.

“It’s a great way to give back, to have to have parents and families watch performers while helping out,” said Kristine Fakharzadeh ’07.

The show was organized by Campus Life, Community Development and representatives from Cornell’s performing arts groups.

Archived article by Jessica Liebman
Sun Staff Writer