Arts & Culture Community Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

ACLU Benefit Concert at Columbia HS: a Night of Compassion and Creativity

A youthful patchwork of dedication and creativity warmed the Black Box theatre this past Friday night as Columbia High School students performed music and poetry to a full crowd. The performance was infused with an endearing DIY spirit: links of colorful cardboard paper floated above the stage, flowers littered the floor, and rainbow lights were strewn across the drum kit.

CHS Benefit Concert for ACLU ((credit Yasmin Nazhat)
CHS Benefit Concert for ACLU ((credit Yasmin Nazhat)

Audience members were treated to a wide variety of musical styles throughout the event. The musical acts ranged from intimate R&B, singer songwriter sets to energetic rock and punk performances that compelled some show goers to rush the stage and dance. Additionally, spoken word poet Liana Runcie performed a moving piece titled “Letter #630,474,852” that voiced her pain regarding Donald Trump’s election.

A moment emblematic of the event’s intention and energy occurred when front man of Israeli Disco, Caleb Heinz, lead the audience into a chant that called for peace, love, and unity.

Organized in under two weeks, the sold out concert raised over $1,000 for the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU. New Jersey ACLU Representative Alex Shalom introduced the event in a compelling speech, which emphasized the importance of community organizing and patriotic dissent. Organizers Sage Territo and Zoë Crutcher will be visiting the offices of the NJ chapter of the ACLU this coming week to present the proceeds from the concert.

Photos credit Yasmin Nazhat on instagram @yasminnphotography_and Kelly Heinze).

Follow the bands and solo artists that played the concert on these accounts for updates on their music and upcoming performances:

Super Sweet 16: @soopersweet6teen
Israeli Disco: @israelidiscoofficial
Baby Hands: @babyhandsband
Mia Gladstone: @miagladstone
Caroline Stemmermann: @carmanimusic

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