By Summer Moore
This weekend, it's time to Stomp Out the Stink on St Claude once again.
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade invites all to come out to Café Istanbul this Saturday, July 27, from 2pm to 2am, and shake a tail feather to sweep out pollution. This 12-hour long, pledge-driven fundraiser is to support the LABB’s work for clean air and healthy communities in Louisiana.
According to Kellan Lyman, LABB’s member action associate, the organization only raised a mere $7,000 last year so this year they’re shooting for $12,000. “We’ve already beat last year’s numbers, having raised $7,800 already.”
This year's theme is "Enchantment Under The Sheen," so expect marine life, oil slicks and beautiful sirens in the costume contest. One can learn hip-hop, Brazilian, African, bellydance, second-line, and even some Michael Jackson moves, all in the name of clean air for all Louisianans.
The event will be chock-full of fun dance lessons, great local DJs and live bands, fun games, and prizes. A grand prize of a 2014 Jazz Fest Brass Pass and Art Bike will be given to the individual person (in a team or not) who raises the most money. The highest fundraising team will win a Party Pirate Ship full of great ‘booty’ for a good time. Tons of other great prizes like dinners at excellent local restaurants, tickets to shows and yoga classes will also be available.
The Dance-a-thon is part of the Bucket Brigade’s Art to Action Program that uses art in all mediums to raise awareness and funds for the Bucket Brigade’s work. LABB is an environmental health and justice organization working with communities that neighbor oil refineries and chemical plants, supporting those communities in the use of grassroots action to create informed, sustainable neighborhoods free from industrial pollution.
LABB works to assist fence-line neighbors in their campaigns to make industry liable for its pollution by providing people in these communities with 5-gallon buckets that collect air samples to send to labs to be tested for industrial pollution. They also provide education, assistance with organizing, media and other types of sampling (water, soil, seafood). They use these tools to help community groups achieve their goals, be it relocation away from a polluting facility, reduced emissions or a moratorium on facility expansions. The more evidence that communities gather the more power they have to achieve their goals.
The Dance-A-Thon works just like a walk-a-thon; contestants sign up as a dancer, as a team of one or up to twelve, and collect donations from friends, fans, family and co-workers. The event is 12 hours dancing to great music, taking dance lessons, winning prizes and eating great local food. As long as at least one team member is dancing, you can rest up.
All teams must pre-register and pay a registration fee of $45. Kids 12 and under can also participate for a reduced fee of $30, though the kids Dance-A-Thon will end at 8pm. LABB had many kids that participated last year and Lyman foresees even more kids this Saturday.
Music will be provided by DJ Max and DJ TJ, “The Smooth Operator”, to start things off; followed with performances by Africa Brass and Doombalaya. Great local eats will be cooked up by Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, Pizza Delicious, Fatoush and Reginelli’s to keep you gettin' down all night long. There will also be snacks from Whole Foods and New Orleans food Co-op, as well as Elizabeth’s jambalaya and Fair Grinds coffee for more booty-shakin’ fuel. If you can't make the whole event, it is open to the public for $10 at the door, although you won't be eligible for prizes.
“This event is a great opportunity to have a blast while continuing to support the LABB’s work to decrease pollution throughout the state,” says Lyman, adding, “Dance-A-Thon fits LABB’s grassroots nature…and taps into the New Orleans culture."
To register, get more information including some great fundraising tips, or to make a pledge, go to the event's website.