For people grief-stricken by the Haiti earthquake, who don’t think that donating $10 to Red Cross is enough, and who love local music, a new unofficial nonprofit group might be able to offer some solace. Fort Worth Sings is the brainchild of a few young locals who intend to raise money for Haiti relief efforts the old-fashioned way: by putting on a music festival.
“I’ve always wanted to throw a big event for a cause,” said Chris Maunder, one of Fort Worth Sings’ co-founders and owner of The Moon Bar by TCU. “It’s what we’re set up to believe: The United States goes to help those in need, and as young adults here, we shouldn’t be any different.” Maunder’s initial response to the tragedy was to donate money to the worthy causes already involved in relief efforts. He couldn’t shake the feeling, though, that more could be done. Serendipitously, friend Christopher Lenzini reached out and expressed an equally passionate desire to go above and beyond. Maunder, a veteran club owner, naturally thought about doing something music-related — but ultimately not at The Moon. “This is beyond The Moon,” he said. “The Moon restricts us. I wanted to have a festival atmosphere, with things for kids to do, too.” Via social networking sites and word of mouth, Maunder and Lenzini called a meeting last week at The Moon. More than 40 people attended. Fort Worth Sings hasn’t nailed down a location for the show yet but has the date set: Sat., March 27. The hope is that at least a dozen bands, all Fort Worth-local, will perform. “We live in Fort Worth,” he said. “This is where we are. It’s not like we don’t want Dallas bands. But there are so many good bands in Fort Worth, and this is our community.” The organization hopes to have at least six bands confirmed by the end of the week. The Fort Worth-centric policy, however, won’t preclude the organization from pursuing a major touring headlining act or two. “We want the music to draw people out,” Maunder said. “People inside our circle know local bands, but people outside our circle don’t.” As a result, the organization intends to book tribute acts, bands that will play songs familiar to people who don’t know Local Band A from Local Band Z but want to attend the festival and not feel shut out. The organization also is in the process of securing a beneficiary — Doctors Without Borders would be ideal, Maunder said — and is lining up tech support (sound engineers, stage managers, security personnel). “I understand that there are a lot of people in our community in need,” Maunder said. “But the world has never seen something like [the Haiti earthquake] before. … We want to give [Haiti relief organizations] money and hope they do the right things with it.” Fort Worth Sings, Maunder said, will eventually become a 501(c)3 organization capable of putting on future festivals for other worthy causes, local and not. “It will become something we can do locally and keep our community active and giving.” For more information, contact Fort Worth Sings communication director Laura Mayberry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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