SEATTLE, Washington — Annual benefit concerts have discovered a way to use peace, love and music to save the world by working to eliminate global poverty. The following nonprofits offer these benefit concerts annually (or more frequently) and use the proceeds to work toward alleviating poverty around the world.
Global Citizen Festival
Perhaps the most widely known, due to star-studded performers and worldwide reach, annual benefit concert fighting global poverty is The Global Citizen Festival. This year, the festival will be held in December in Johannesburg, South Africa and will be headlined by Beyoncé and Jay Z.
Global Citizens plans to end extreme poverty by 2030 as part of The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The organization works across all 17 Global Goals addressing food and nutrition, water and sanitation, girls and women’s health and rights, the environment and more.
Global Citizens Festivals boast that its concert-goers attend the festivities for free. They offer free tickets to their shows for people who engage with Global Citizens and earn “festival points” by performing actions like tweeting, calling and e-mailing world leaders in support of poverty legislation reform, signing petitions for poverty reduction and referring friends to the Global Citizens cause.
Here & There Benefit Concert
Here & There Benefit Concert is a new annual benefit concert with a dual purpose, benefitting orphans both “here” in Fort Worth, Texas and “there” in India. The event began in 2017 and has run for almost two years now, benefitting nonprofits such as Fort Worth-based Hope Fort Worth and Love Like You Mean It.
Hope Fort Worth is a faith-based orphan care ministry created by children’s pastor Andrew Holland. He and his wife adopted their son, Ethan, from China after a mission trip to Ethiopia on which the pastor was asked to give a sermon on orphan care. Andrew replied, “How can I preach about orphan care? I don’t know anything about orphan care.” The director of the event Holland was preaching at said, “you teach the Bible, right? Orphan care is in the Bible.” Hope Fort Worth works to make a difference in the lives of children in foster care and waiting to be adopted.
Love Like You Mean It is a global poverty reduction nonprofit whose aim has a wide scope. They plan on “feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty and loving the unloved” from The U.S. to India to Africa. The two organizations began the Here & There annual benefit concert to help orphans both in The U.S. and around the world.
New York City Christmas: A Concert to Benefit ASTEP
Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) was created by Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and a group of Juilliard students to benefit the lives of poor youths around the world through the power of art. The annual benefit concert is in its tenth year and boasts Broadway talents singing original renditions of holiday songs off “New York City’s Christmas” album, which is sold at the event. The proceeds go to ASTEP’s mission of connecting performing and visual artists with underprivileged youths in The U.S. and around the world.
Stateside, ASTEP has programs in New York City and South Florida that offer after-school and summer art programs to youth affected by immigration status, homelessness, gun-violence, incarceration, HIV/AIDS and systemic poverty. Their programs give artistic outlets and alternatives to living a downtrodden life, stricken by poverty. Internationally, ASTEP has programs in India and South Africa run by volunteer artists delivering multi-week art camps to youth affected by the caste system, systemic poverty and HIV/AIDS.
Rock Against Poverty
Rock Against Poverty isn’t an annual charity concert, per se, but an initiative created by The Vihara Foundation and tech start-up Metavents. Rock Against Poverty is a series of 50 benefit concerts slated to take place in 25 countries over the next ten years with the goal of raising $1 billion in an effort to address global poverty, climate change and development financing for under-funded communities.
The flagship organization for Rock Against Poverty is The Vihara Foundation. Vihara is a science and education-based nonprofit that supports project development for poverty alleviation, disaster mitigation and creative financing projects for development. They partnered with Metavents, a Melbourne tech start-up that uses 2D, 3D, VR/augmented reality and artificial intelligence, to create one-of-a-kind events and festivals that are able to reach a global audience. They called this partnership Rock Against Poverty.
These annual benefit concerts fighting global poverty are using art, music and love to conquer global poverty. By raising awareness and money to support their cause, these concerts are doing what they can to achieve The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Be sure to check out the festivals and concerts to help end global poverty and enjoy some amazing art at the same time!
– Nick Hodges