The RFC Turns 25!

I am thrilled to report that the RFC’s 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday, October 17th, was a huge success. Almost 300 supporters, beneficiaries, and friends new and old joined the Board, staff and Gina Belafonte, Erin McKeown, Ellen Meeropol, and A Besere Velt for an evening of conversation and music spotlighting “Artists as Activists.” Guests came to the event in Easthampton, MA from around the region and across the country, including from as far away as Oregon and California.

The evening began with a reception for Anniversary Circle ticketholders. After the reception, the program opened with a short film (embedded below) on the deep connections between activist artists, the RFC and the Rosenberg/Meeropol family. RFC Advisory Board members Angela Davis, Holly Near, Public Enemy's Chuck D, Mike + Ruthy, and Peter Mulvey; along with Pamela Means, The Nields, and RFC founder Robert Meeropol, shared their reasons for incorporating activism into their art, and how and why they connected with the RFC.

Immediately following the film, Gina Belafonte, Erin McKeown, and Ellen Meeropol joined me for a conversation on the intersection of art and activism. They talked about their role models, how they came to integrate art and activism, dealing with blowback, and much more.

The evening concluded with a concert by Erin McKeown, opened by A Besere Velt. As Erin mentioned, it was the first time she’d ever performed after a Yiddish Chorus and she hoped it wasn’t the last. Members of the chorus and audience clearly agreed; some of them even joined Erin on stage for the final song of the evening, a joyous culmination to an uplifting evening.

Thank you to all of you who joined us for this celebration or were here with us in spirit. Special thanks to the Puffin Foundation for their generous support of this event, Anniversary Circle ticket purchasers, our fabulous volunteers (including our Board), the RFC staff and all the local vendors who contributed to the success of the event.

I encourage you to watch the videos (below), view the event photos here and share your thoughts on the celebration (or any photos if you joined us in person) by leaving a comment below.

Art, Activism & the Rosenberg Fund for Children (with Angela Davis, Holly Near, Chuck D, Pamela Means, Mike + Ruthy, Peter Mulvey and The Nields)

"Then and Now" memories of RFC beneficiaries over the years, 25th anniversary-themed artwork, and messages from our event sponsors

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Jenn, Of all the images shown on the slide show and video, the one that moved me to tears, knowing of his dire conditions, was that of Rashid Johnson in his depiction of your grandparents! What solidarity! I hope you can help him too! Jon Olsen

Beautiful message. Art, Activism & the Rosenberg Fund for Children so clearly defined how important music and art is to the healing of the children. It is inspiring how dedicated Mr. Meeropol, the RFC staff and the professional artists are to that healing. The smiles of the children say it all.

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