Ann Arbor benefit concert aims to raise $10,000 for hunger relief in Ukraine

Ann Arbor activists and musicians are aiming to raise $10,000 for emergency food relief in Ukraine through an upcoming benefit concert. 

The Ukraine Relief Benefit Ann Arbor Fundraising Concert will take place on April 19 at The Ark in Ann Arbor. Proceeds will be donated to the World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit aid organization delivering meals to those caught in some of Ukraine’s most war-torn areas.

Organizer and local activist Corky Wattles says the idea for the event came from Jerry Mack, guitarist, percussionist, and vocalist for local blues band Jerry Mack and The Terraplanes

“Jerry performed at the women’s rights rally I organized last October,” Wattles says. “He came to me and said, ‘I want to do a benefit. Can you help?’”

Together, the two recruited a long list of other local artists representing a variety of genres. In addition to the Terraplanes, the event will include performances by Madcat Ruth and the C.A.R.Ma Quartet, Judy Banker, Jive Colossus, The Switchbacks, The Andy Adamson Quintet, and local Ukrainian-American guitarist Rick Humesky. 

In addition to the music, Wattles says there will also be a charity auction for a few pieces of art and other goods donated by local artists and artisans. Auction items will be available to view before the show on the event’s Facebook page.

Wattles says she and Mack are both interested in holding similar fundraisers in the future should the war in Ukraine continue. 

“Music is the most universal unifier there is,” Wattles says. “Live music can just break through all souls and open up hearts.”

Sabine Bickford Brown is a freelance writer and editor based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She can be reached at sabinebickfordbrown@gmail.com.

Photo courtesy of Corky Wattles.