On August 13th, Events for Change produced the Weaving Movements Together benefit concert, celebrating the 80th birthday of civil rights icon, Dolores Huerta. Held at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, presented a powerful blend of music and short speeches highlighting different social movements.
The four hour show featured musical performances by Carlos Santana, Rage Against the Machine singer/songwriter, Zach de la Rocha with his new band, One Day As A Lion; Mexican singer, Lila Downs, the Pete Escovedo Band, Culture Clash, Rick Chavez and Kaylah Marin. Between sets key movements—environmental, peace, women’s, LGBTQ, labor and immigration—were represented by Danny Glover, Martin Sheen, Benjamin Bratt, Alfre Woodard, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Jodie Evans from Code Pink, Nick Chavez of QVC Channel fame; LA Supervisor, Gloria Molina; AFL-CIO head, Elena Maria Dorazo, and Edward James Olmos.
In addition to the live event in Los Angeles, fifteen other events were held around the country, each receiving a web feed of the concert and some sending video back to LA for insertion on the large screens. The event was covered by a large contingent of English and Spanish-speaking media.
Following enthusiastic renditions of “Happy Birthday” sung by Mayor Villaraigosa in Spanish and all of the performers and the audience in English, Santana performed a beautiful set with vocalist Andy Vargas and the 17 piece Escovedo band. The set included a beautiful rendition of “Black Magic Woman” with Lila Downs providing the vocals, the classic, “Oye Como Va,” and a spirited rendition of the Escovedo hit, “Whatcha Gonna Do?”
e2k President, Michael Olmstead, began working with Delores, the Dolores Huerta Foundation team, and media consultant, Kit Bricca, in October to design and develop the evening’s program. Dolores wanted to create event that brought all of the movements together and the weaving concept provided a perfect metaphor with a strong latin/indigenous feeling. In fact, prior to the event, a pre-show festival in the outer concourse featured weavers demonstrating their craft for the attendees.
e2k Senior Producer, Erin Olmstead, managed the artists and speakers along with an outstanding on-site team of stage managers, including Ron Kellum, Lindsey Rosenberg, David Sanchez, Sabrina Chaudhry, Allison Hahn, Gina Cantrell, Kristin Egusa, Sandra Enriquez, Dalila Muro. The pre-show festival and VIP reception were coordinated by e2k producers, David Gill and Trisha Ricci. Associate Producer, Dan Wilson, called the show; and Creative Director, Meghan Harris designed the graphics and ran the screen graphics for the event. E2k Technical Director, Mike Brady coordinated the production requirements for four bands with tight set changes, a live webcast, internet feeds from remote sites.
e2k and Events for Change was proud to be a part of this historic event, recognizing a leader in the struggle for human rights, and providing a rare showcase of key movements coming together and recognizing their common purpose. The message throughout the evening was summarized by the closing video, Four Years. Go! – basically, now is the time to get involved, make changes in your life to help others and promote a sustainable way of life on our planet. On Friday night, we had a chance to do our small part to make a difference in the world.