2003-09-02 Grand Haven Tribune Diversity Alliance feeling the pinch

Diversity Alliance feeling the pinch
Grand Haven Tribune

In a tight economy, the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance is feeling the pinch. “Things are worse today for non-profits than I have ever seen them,” said Gail Harrison, executive director of the Alliance. However, Harrison is hoping that proceeds from a Sept. 5 concert, which will feature Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, will help to ease some of the pressure from the crunch.

“By attending this great performance they (concert-goers) are also supporting an important non-profit organization that is committed to healing racism in this community,” Harrison said. According to the Web site for Saffire (www.uppity-blueswomen.com), the group is based in Fredericksburg, Va. The band has released six albums and toured internationally.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.ethnicdiversity.org for $21 or at the door for $20. Tickets to meet and greet the band are available on-line for $31, or at the concert for $30, but only 100 will be sold.

This will be the band’s second appearance in Holland. Harrison said the group also performed two years ago as part of the Great Performance series sponsored by Hope College. She said they put on “a dynamite concert.” According to Harrison, LEDA staff chose to bring the band because of the group’s diversity, which Harrison said coincides with the mission of the organization. They’re a great band and a lot of fun,” she said.

Harrison said the band also reduced the contract fee because they “believed in our mission and the value of the work that we do.” “For us, this (fund-raising) is one of those critical components that is going to determine whether we can stay afloat,” Harrison said. “If we don’t raise money, we won’t be in business much longer.”