By Marie VanAssendelft
Bright Eyes, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Roseanne Cash, Lyle Lovett, John Mayer…these are just a few of over 100 musicians that are raising awareness of AIDS in New York.
They have all taken part in the live music series “Live From Home” put on by Housing Works, which for over a decade has been the city’s leading AIDS services provider and the country’s largest minority-controlled AIDS action group. They supply shelter, medical services, job training, and legal advocacy for homeless people living with AIDS in NYC.
Since Housing Works first 2003 with Ryan Adams, “Live From Home” has been successful in raising the visibility of the charity by reaching a different demographic. The series takes place at the Housing Works Used Book Café located in Soho. The bookstore has been a “hot spot” in the savvy literary circles; where one could hear a young novelist do a reading while sipping a latte, knowing all the proceeds go to Housing Works. Now with the introduction of concerts, “Live From Home” has been successful in transforming the organization’s profile through the generosity of the performers. With 100% of proceeds going to Housing Works, concert-goers get the chance to see an intimate show with their favorite artist and help an important charity.
The series is put together by Alan Light, music editor and fan, who has utilized his 15 years of contacts in the music business to get together an impressive roster. Mr. Light says the best result has been that “every show, somebody comes up to me and says ‘I live in the neighborhood and I never knew this place was here.'” In addition, “Live From Home” has raised a great deal money, and has increased daily traffic to the store in the café.
Up next at “Live From Home” will be a special show with Jason Mraz. Additionally Housing Works is planning an NYC-to-DC “End Aids” march in September, that they hope will involve a kick-off show with major bands performing songs about walking such as: “Walk This Way,” “I Walk the Line,” and “Walking After Midnight.” For more information on “Live From Home” and Housing Works visit http://www.housingworks.org