Musicians take on church and state at SPACE
Voices United for the Separation of Church and State
at S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston
7 p.m. on Sept. 30
(847) 492-8860, www.evanstonspace.com
In presidential election years, political activism takes on many forms.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, an activist organization dedicated to that cause, has put together a concert series called Voices United for the Separation of Church and State.
The group has a goal of holding 50 concerts in 50 states, Sept. 26 - Oct. 1, to promote the First Amendment right. SPACE in Evanston is the venue for Illinois’ showcase for the cause, scheduled at 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30.
Seventy seven shows have been scheduled in 71 cities, but there is nothing scheduled yet in North or South Dakota.
Local singer Ingrid Graudins, who hosts a quarterly song circle and discussion called “Words and Music” at SPACE, will be the evening’s host. She will be joined by singers Trina Hamlin, a folk/rock/blues hamonica and guitarist, Liam Davis, a Grammy-nominated instrumentalist, and Steve Dawson, leader of the band Dolly Varden. She also promises at least one well-known special surprise
guest for the evening’s lineup.
“I wish I could be in all 50 states to see all 50 concerts,” Graudins said during a recent phone interview. “All 50 shows will have great music.”
Massachusetts-based folksinger Catie Curtis, who is the national organizer for the concert series, called on her friend Graudins to host the Illinois show. The two were introduced by Jonatha Brooke, another singer originally from Illinois.
And while music will highlight the evening, Graudins said there could be pause for discussion about the issue.
“It’s about what is important and unites people,” Graudins said. “What is important is freedom. And the separation of church and state is a freedom that is important to everybody.”
Further, Graudins believes the show will encourage people to celebrate the best of America instead of the worse.
“I’ve seen a lot of appealing to people’s fears during the campaign already,” she said. “Definitely by the Republican party. They have appealed to factors that play on the fears of people. We want people to celebrate things that they love. If you love someone or something,
you shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate it.”
She also believes that music can help change the world, calling on lyrics from Curtis’ song “Passing Through.” Curtis sings “If I can’t change the world, I’ll change the world within my reach.”
And they hope their music will help deliver a convincing message to people.~