MUSIC MATTERS: Wolf Trap’s Cause-Conscious Line Up

by Columnist

Wolf Trap is the Washington institution where the “arts come out to play” and 2010 is no exception.

By Tommy McFLY

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Known for their uber-eclectic line up of performers there is always something for every taste on the second largest stage in America.  Aretha, Willie, and Marvin are just some of the superstars set to play out at the National Park for the performing arts.  When not on stage, how do Wolf Trap’s featured headliners give back?

Not many other legendary bands can say they’ve purchased ambulances, except for perhaps a few 80’s hair bands in a haze.  When not touring the world Jethro Tull, playing Wolf Trap on June 8th, comes to the rescue in non-traditional ways.  Watching the death-toll of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack unnecessarily rise due to lack of proper medical transport Ian and the boys sprung into action.  They played a benefit concert and the money raised commissioned two ambulances for emergency care related to rail commuters.

Breast Cancer, animals, and the conservation of Natural Resources seem to be the top of the philanthropic list for Sheryl Crow. Known for occasionally dripping some causey or political mentions into her hit-packed performances Crow will take the stage on June 17th. A breast cancer survivor , Sheryl proudly links to The American Cancer Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sonoma County Humane Society, and ex Lance Armstrong’s pet project LIVESTRONG from her website.

A staple on the DC A-List gala and charity scene Aretha Franklin is no stranger to a good cause. The MusiCares 2008 Person of the Year and Kennedy Center Honors recipient will take the Wolf Trap stage July 29th.

What can you say about Willie?  In the past having done tremendous work for the Red Cross, green campaigns and even shared a cause, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, with Sheryl Crow. Willie Nelson, taking the stage on August 3rd, is most recognized in the charity world for his aid to farmers.  Farm Aid has ‘Kept America Growing,’ for a quarter century since Willie, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first one in 1985.

Wolf Trap itself is a non-profit entity that raises money to enable arts-based learning techniques.  Terre Jones, Wolf Trap President and CEO remarked “Throughout Wolf Trap’s almost 40 years in existence, the organization has become renowned for its diverse, high-quality concert offerings at the Filene Center and The Barns, but it may surprise many people to learn that, at its core, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is a mission based non-profit dedicated to advancing learning through the arts. We constantly strive to further the essential role of arts-based learning techniques, particularly as it relates to early childhood education. By way of music and movement classes, a nationally acclaimed internship program, our Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, professional development workshops for teachers, and an international residency program where we actually place teaching artists in classrooms to enhance curriculum, Wolf Trap is at the forefront of this critical initiative.”

Check out the upcoming season.

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