A night of folk music supports Invisible Children efforts

Folk fest proceeds go towards organizations fighting against Kony (photo by Anthony Do).
Folk fest proceeds go towards organizations fighting against Kony (photo by Anthony Do).

On Oct. 17, 2013, George Mason University’s chapter of the non-profit Invisible Children (ICGMU) hosted their fourth annual Folk Festival. The event was $5 to non-Mason students and free to Mason students with a valid student ID.

Upon entering the Bistro, ICGMU had set up a table for merchandise. The night was characterized by an inviting and relaxed vibe for both the band and attendees. The venue allowed for an intimate conversational environment as each of the bands played a unique myriad of indie-folk tunes ranging from Bob Dylan covers to an upbeat eclectic mix of harmonic folk progressions.

This year’s Folk Fest showcased three rising indie-folk bands including the following: Castles and Cupboards, Great American Canyon Band and Bombadil. Castles and Cupboards is comprised of former Mason students. Great American Canyon Band is a Baltimore-based band made up of husband and wife Paul and Crystal Masson. The third and final band, Bombadil, is based out of Durham, NC.

Invisible Children was founded in 2004 in hopes of shining a light on the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, whose central practices include the abduction and abuse of children and forcibly making them serve as child soldiers. 

For the remainder of this year, Invisible Children’s campaign, #zeroLRA, is aimed at bringing a final end to Joseph Kony’s rebel group, the LRA, so that no more killings, abductions or violence occurs.

The campaign centered around the key phrase: “Stand For Nothing: No Child Soldiers. No Killing. No War. Celebrate Everything: Every Escape. Every Name. Every Life.”

The campaign also has a huge focus on fundraising. Throughout the remainder of the campaign, all of the funds raised will go directly towards “come home” efforts including come home fliers, radio message broadcasting and rehabilitation efforts for soldiers who defect.

“The overall goal of ICGMU is to collaboratively raise $10,000. But we consider any amount of funds raised a success,” said ICGMU President Elizabeth Anderson.

Earlier this semester, ICGMU hosted several yard sales raising around $200 and other restaurant fundraisers. The organization hopes to host additional fundraisers to be announced later in the semester.

Each year, the event has become increasingly more successful as the club itself has grown and developed, the student body has becoming significantly more involved and great performers have continually been willing to sacrifice their time on behalf of Invisible Children.

The continued efforts of ICGMU have not gone unnoticed and have since created sustainable change and development since its inception. The club has an open membership policy and invites any and all interested students to consider working with ICGMU.

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