Local artists to perform World AIDS Day benefit

Local artists to perform World AIDS Day benefit

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Some local musicians and organizations are joining forces to produce “Under Pressure,” a World AIDS Day benefit show Dec. 1 at Caplan Studio Theatre.

Hosted by Courtney Custer, “Under Pressure” will feature performances by out indie pop performer Bill Budd, out folk singer Marc Silver with his band The Stonethrowers and singer-songwriter Luke Dow.

Budd said the downturn in the economy motivated him to organize the event.

“I had been reading some articles in the press about how nonprofit funding was down because of the state of the economy,” he said. “It just made me really uncomfortable thinking that organizations like Mazzoni Center and other nonprofits that are more public-service-oriented were going to suffer because of it. I was inspired to put this World AIDS Day benefit idea at the forefront of my agenda. I brought the idea to them. We talked about exactly what programs of the Mazzoni Center needed the most funding and help. They’ve been helping me organize it from there.”

Besides the artists, Budd said a number of local businesses and organizations have donated to the event providing prizes for the event.

“We’re having a raffle and we’ve had some donations from Ettore Spa, who donated some gift certificates,” he said. “Philadelphia School of Circus Art donated an hour aerial lesson for two people as one of the prizes. The rest of the prizes haven’t come in yet. Those organizations donating prizes are a big help. UArts donated the space and they’ve been really supportive and helpful in allowing us to get in there early, set up, practice and find the best sound. They’ve been a great asset. Using the space for free is a huge contribution, including whatever labor they need to provide for us the night of the show. They also donated that.”

All proceeds from “Under Pressure” will benefit Mazzoni’s Annual Coat and Gift Drive as well as the center’s food bank, Vivian’s Cupboard, both of which provide direct support to people living with HIV/AIDS. Last year, the food bank distributed groceries and meals to 1,093 households. Each holiday season, the Mazzoni Center organizes a gift and winter coat drive for children whose parents or guardians utilize the agency’s care services.

Budd said he would like to see this event raise at least $5,000.

“That is my main goal,” he said. “I really just want to raise money for the Mazzoni Center’s two programs that we are working for: the food bank and the holiday clothing drive. It would be nice to just raise a little bit of awareness just to get people thinking and not closing themselves off. Mazzoni is in survival mode. When you talk to the organizers of these programs and find out how much they are able to do with so little money, they are really great programs and I’d really love to give them some extra money to give more people clothing and food.”

“Under Pressure” starts at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at The Caplan Studio Theatre, 211 S. Broad St., 16th floor. For more information on the Mazzoni Center or to purchase tickets for this event, visit www.mazzonicenter.org/underpressure or call (215) 563-0652 ext. 270.

Larry Nichols can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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