Don’t Miss: RI Music Hall of Fame’s Unity Concerts
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The two-day concert fundraiser will take place at The Ocean Mist, 895 Matunuck Beach Rd., Wakefield, RI. Admission is $20.00 per day or $35.00 for a weekend ticket. Etix can be purchased at www.oceanmist.net or in person at the door.
Participating bands, who are all donating their performances, represent an array of R.I. talent teamed with the generous donation of the venue as well as concert support by The Ocean Mist.
On Saturday, the lineup in order of appearance is: Adrienne West and the Tabers, Rossoni, The Brian McKenzie Band, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, The 100 Watt Suns, and The Rudy Cheeks Band.
Sunday's lineup in order of appearance features: Kim Petrarca, Ken Lyon, The Zimmermen, Longshot VooDoo, Becky Chace, Mark Cutler, Pendragon, Roomful of Blues, Steve Smith & the Nakeds, and James Montgomery.
Inspiration Behind The Unity Concerts
The Unity Concerts idea builds off the March, 2013 CD release concerts held at The Ocean Mist by Hall of Fame inductees Roomful of Blues who chose to donate the proceeds of one of those concerts to the Tune In & Tune Up initiative which was just then getting off the ground. Ocean Mist owner Kevin Finnegan was so inspired by the idea that he suggested trying an even bigger benefit event with more bands later in the year.
Roomful leader Chris Vachon said, "In addition to doing some very special things to celebrate and recognize Rhode Island's musical legacy, the Hall of Fame has been proactive in helping with education – most recently developing Tune In & Tune Up. For so long the music community has sought affordable health care ... the Hall is helping to identify viable options. I applaud Hall of Fame members for working to make it happen."
During RIMHOF's first induction ceremony in 2012, Hall of Fame inductee Ken Lyon mentioned from the stage that many musicians in Rhode Island do not have adequate health care and that it was an issue that concerned him greatly. He challenged the Hall of Fame to look into this important issue and that is exactly what happened as board member Don "D.C." Culp started constructing what would eventually turn in to a grassroots movement spearheaded by several Hall of Fame board members.
Culp explained, "I first brought up the idea of joining together some type of affordable health care with a health awareness information center. The idea was met with great enthusiasm but also a realization of the greatest obstacle to overcome – existing programs with very high monthly fees and/or high co-pays which make them far from affordable for most musicians."
"Unfortunately," RIMHOF chair Robert Billington said, "most in the music community make the hard decision to live without proper preventive health care, skipping routine annual exams and turning down medical services because they can't afford them or are unwilling to pay their insurance's high deductibles if they even have insurance. In effect, people are denying themselves basic primary care."
Fellow RIMHOF board member and Tune In & Tune Up cofounder Russell Gusetti added, "It can be scary being a musician. Because we are independent contractors, we usually have no health insurance unless we are lucky enough to have a spouse who does. Because we don't work for just one company, musicians have no benefits nor do we make much to begin with."
Tune In & Tune Up
As part of the The Tune In & Tune Up Rhode Island Musicians Health Awareness Program, TI&TU members will be eligible for discounts at area health and wellness retail locations and will receive free admission to a planned series of health-related forums geared specifically to musicians. Additionally, a web site geared to the music community will be developed directing them to area health and wellness options and trying to make the topic of health care more understandable so they don't just tune out.
Don Culp explained, "Hall of Fame board members have recently begun to solicit retail outlets and stores that offer health-related items or services to become part of the TI&TU program. This could be health clubs or yoga studios or healthy restaurants... basically any store that supports and promotes healthy living."
To date, 200 TI&TU membership cards have been produced and they anticipate another 200 to be signed up for and available by the Unity Concerts weekend.
TI&TU's planned bi-monthly series of conversations/workshops will focus on topics geared toward the music community, everything from carpal tunnel problems, to stage anxiety, to vocal health and more. The first of the series will feature Megan Hall, the Outreach and Education Lead at HealthsourceRI.
TI&TU has already partnered with medical professionals such as Dr. Stephanie Hansen, psychologist, and Dr. Mark Andreozzi, ENT, who both serve on the advisory committee. They also support Dr. Zaheer A. Shah's Access Basic Care initiative and have already enrolled nine R.I. musicians in Shah's membership health care program, some who had not had an annual physical for decades.
Gusetti concluded, "Instead of only reacting after a health problem becomes serious we hope we can, in some small way, inspire the music community to be proactive about their health so they can prevent or address some health problems before they get even worse. And if we become a model for the dance, visual arts and acting community, we would be thrilled as we all face similar situations and as parts of the creative community, we are all in this together."
For more information visit www.rhodeislandmusichalloffame.com.
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