This will be an inspiring concert with a purpose: raising funds for national non-profit organizations dedicated to human rights, civil rights and the environment.
Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out! features stars from film, television and Broadway; it’s coming to The Bushnell in Hartford, Connecticut, Monday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m.
SiriusXM’s Seth D. Rudetsky and James Wesley with special co-host Matthew Broderick will provide an evening of entertainment with stars of film, television, music, comedy and Broadway with the purpose of infusing Americans with hope and inspiration.
“Ever since the recent presidential inauguration, there has been a constant assault on civil rights such as the attempt to ban trans people from military service, an assault on the environment by backing out of the Paris accord and putting national monuments, like our stunning parks, under ‘review’ and a rise in hate groups that has not been discouraged in strong enough language,” commented Rudetsky, the show’s co-producer, co-host and music director. “So we’re helping the non-profits that are working every day to support our American civil rights, our American freedom as well as the environment we all share.”
Helping others always has been part of his life. His parents marched for civil rights in the ’60s, and when he moved to New York City he began volunteering at God’s Love We Deliver, making meals for homebound persons with AIDS. He also did weekly shows at hospitals. “It’s an amazing feeling to use whatever skills you have to help out; and it’s fun!” he enthused.
The main goal of the show is to put people in a good mood. “There is such a myriad of depressing and scary news out there so every month we want to make people relaxed and joyous so they can go out and keep being active citizens,” Rudetsky said.
The show goes next to Washington, D.C., and then Montana.
“It is no secret that this post-election reality we inhabit is filled with vitriol and hatefulness. It’s impossible to miss the rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric, the violent targeting of Muslims and Sikhs, people threatened or demeaned and even killed because of their race, ethnicity, genders, religion, sexual orientation—and the list goes on,” commented Andrea C. Kandel, president and CEO of National Conference for Community and Justice, one of the beneficiaries of the event. “And just as disturbing is the unprecedented level of polarization among the people of our country—it is as if we’ve forgotten how to belong together. And that is why the tenacious dedication to the mission of NCCJ as well as each of these organizations, who have dedicated themselves to fighting for human and civil rights as well as environmental rights in our country, is more important now than ever before.”
Other beneficiaries from the event are National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
National Immigration Law Center, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Southern Poverty Law Center and Sierra Club Foundation.
National Conference for Community and Justice “is proud to present this event, Concert for America, and partner with these other human and civil rights organizations since we believe that we are all stronger when we work together,” Kandel said.
Referring to the tagline of the event, “to infuse Americans with hope and inspiration and the desire to become more active citizens,” she said “music has played a significant role in all social justice movement, and this tradition is continued through this concert.”
For Rudetsky, the shows are “like putting on a enormous Broadway show every month.”
He and Wesley began doing this type of charity/entertainment work in full force after the Orlando nightclub shooting. Wesley got the idea to do a “We Are The World” type of recording of “What The World Needs Now,” and within two days they gathered Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gloria Estefan, Carole King and others, recording it in one afternoon. It was released two days later and raised about $100,000 and went to number 1 on iTunes.
The Hartford show will include Todrick Hall, Maurice Hines, Judy Kuhn, Manzari Brothers, Holly Near, Jennifer Simard, Beth Malone, Capathia Jenkins and Rebecca Luker.
More participants are being added: Check the full list at nccj.org/stand-sing-out-justice.
Ticket prices begin at $29.50.
Tickets and more information may be obtained at bushnell.org or by calling 860-987-5900.