“Act Locally” Benefits Pitt Habitat Chapter

Music & Arts: “Act Locally” Benefit Concert
By Nick Corsi

Erie Art Museums Blue and Jazz Festival

“Act Locally” Poster
click to enlarge

FINALLY – SOME OUTDOOR MUSIC!

This past Thursday at the University of Pittsburgh, our Habitat for Humanity Chapter put on a Benefit Concert. As a University chapter, we have a long term goal of eventually sponsoring the entire cost of a Habitat home. This goal will see its fruition in years to come, but the fund raising is ongoing and provides a slow but steady stream of income to the account. Each year our Benefit Concert provides for this goal and also acts as a capstone event for the year.

PLANNING

My first stab at leading a team in planning a concert was both fulfilling and humbling.  The event was a total success, we made money towards our goal, the night went smoothly, and all in attendance enjoyed themselves. However, I learned massive amounts about the

Console

Mixer at the Concert
click to enlarge

grunt work ahead of time. Some of this is mentioned in my past articles on event planning,

however a few things weren’t.

SPONSORING

We didn’t want to charge for attendance, the concert took place on a campus lawn and we couldn’t afford adequate gate security.  Aside from asking for straight donations – which worked well, we wanted to incorporate a raffle. One of co-planners took it upon herself to write to a handful of local businesses, most of which offered gift cards, gift certificates, gift bags, coupon packs, and food donations. Following up on solicitation letters was key in acquiring the all the potential raffle prizes and free food.

Need sponsors? Don’t be afraid to ask! And remember to follow up and reciprocate with logos on promotional materials and proper attention during the event.

KEY TO A SMOOTH EVENING

Given my background in sound engineering, I was able to interface with the bands and the tech crew at the University of Pittsburgh.  But having a smooth evening doesn’t rely on the music alone.  Volunteers running food tables, raffle tables, donation buckets, decorating, setup and tear down are the lifeblood of the event.  As the planner of the event, allowing all these people to do their jobs and providing them with what they need is what makes the difference between a well oiled machine and one person running around micro-managing.

Mark Williams

Mark Williams
click to enlarge

“ACT LOCALLY”

This past Thursday, folk guitarist Mark Williams, soul keyboardist Joy Ike, and funk rock band “The Jungle” provided an atmosphere of fun for a worthy cause. The tagline of the concert was “Act Locally,” all the money raised will go towards helping our Habitat Chapter Sponsor the entire cost of a habitat home in Pittsburgh.  This is a long term organizational goal that gets chipped away little by little every year. I would like to thank anyone who made it out to the concert, and also anyone who supports or who has worked with Habitat for Humanity. An organization that leads through enablement rather than charity, “Habitat isn’t a hand out, it is a hand up.”

Nick has been working with Habitat for Humanity since for 4 years. He has gone on 3 alternate Spring Breaks with the chapter at the University of Pittsburgh.  As he graduates, he will truly miss the great people who have been apart of this initiative at Pitt. Habitat has provided friends, fulfillment, fun, and a wealth of experience, it will be part of his life for years to come.

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