San Luis Obispo Responds
Friday, February 23, 2018 at 7:30pm
Local musicians Damon Castillo, Inga Swearingen with Guy Budd, and Louie Ortega will be joined by Canzona Women’s Ensemble, Central Coast Children’s Choir, Vocal Arts Ensemble, and vocalist Kathryn Summersett on Friday, February 23, at 7:30 p.m., in a benefit concert for victims of the Puerto Rico hurricane and Santa Barbara County fire. San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon will emcee the event.

With a fundraising goal set at $35,000, San Luis Obispo Responds will appeal to music lovers across the board with a diverse and engaging program.

The concert evolved from the collaborative efforts of Cal Poly Music Department professor Craig Russell and PAC Outreach Services. Russell, a renowned expert in classical music from Latin America, initially approached the PAC in the fall of 2017 to assist in presenting a benefit for victims of the Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

"I'm thankful that Guy and I were invited to participate in this concert. It feels good to do something to help. The lack of aid to Puerto Rico is shameful, and I admire Craig's impetus to organize a fundraising concert in response to the devastation. As we are experiencing the results of climate change and extreme weather events, we do what we can to help. In this case it's helping our neighbors down the road, and our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico," said singer-songwriter Inga Swearingen.

As the concert began to take shape, the Santa Barbara County Thomas Fire ignited, eventually becoming the largest wildfire on record in California. With thousands of local residents affected by both the fire and subsequent mudslides, the scope of the concert expanded to assist victims of both tragedies.

“We’re honored to partner with Craig and these generous local artists to facilitate this important community event. It’s appropriate the PAC play a role in helping our community respond to the needs of the victims of both these horrific tragedies,” said PAC Managing Director Chris Miller.

All tickets are $25. Donations and net proceeds from ticket sales will be given to the United Way, Direct Relief and the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and designated for relief efforts for survivors of the Puerto Rico hurricane and the Santa Barbara County fire and mudslides. The purchase of a ticket does not qualify as a charitable donation.

Special thanks to our event sponsor, Joan Gellert-Sargen

San Luis Obispo Responds is proudly sponsored by KSBY-TV, KCBX and the San Luis Obispo Tribune.