Northside Benefit Recipients in Tornado Recovery Efforts to Be Awarded Tomorrow


TWIN CITIES — July 12, 2011 — Eight community organizations working on the tornado recovery effort in North Minneapolis will receive funding from a June 12, 2011, benefit concert at the Hennepin Theatre Trust State Theatre on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. The event will take place at Noon at the North Community YMCA Youth & Teen Enrichment Center (1711 West Broadway Minneapolis, MN 55411/ 612-588-9484).

NorthSide: A Twin Cities Community Benefit raised more than $100,000 with hard cash and ticket sale contributions of $26,600.00 and in-kind donations of more than $80,000.00. Funds are still coming in — and more donations can be made through the organization’s website at Given the five-star performances throughout the night of the fundraising concert, organizers of the event are exploring the possibility of releasing a live album — and individual downloads — of songs from the concert event for the holidays, which will also raise money for the recovery effort.

More than 200 musicians, from Soul Asylum to Brother Ali and Sounds of Blackness to The New Standards, donated their time and waived their fees to make the event happen, plus many behind-the-scenes individuals and organizations, including the State Theatre, which was donated pro bono by the Hennepin Theatre Trust (See About the Northside Benefit Organization).

“Without a nickel in our pockets, our small group and our benefit partners successfully organized the  Northside: A Twin Cities Community Benefit at the State Theatre on June 12th, 2011, and raised funds that will go directly to the organizations that are assisting residents of North Minneapolis on a daily bases,” says benefit co-organizer and artist Larry Long.

“Due to the enormity of the destruction to so many people’s lives in North Minneapolis — and the generosity of so many individuals and organizations —  it was very difficult for us decide upon where our funds could be put to the most use,” Long notes. “We walked the streets of North Minneapolis.   We talked to displaced renters and homeowners.  We attended meetings and visited with many of the nonprofit organizations assisting the displaced people on the north side.   We weren’t able to fund them all, even though each of them is well-deserving.”

Recipients Of NorthSide Benefit Funding Charitable dollars will go directly to nonprofit organizations whose missions are to provide shelter, food, medical services, counseling, child care, utility assistance, youth mentoring and employment opportunities to the residents of North Minneapolis. The recipients include:

  • North Community YMCA for opening up their facility to tornado victims and giving free memberships to those hardest hit by the tornado. The North Community YMCA is known for working with and not simply doing for those in their community.
  • Elim Transitional Housing for answering the call of giving transitional housing to displaced renters and homeowners.
  •  Urban Homeworks for their faith-based and practical innovative community development that works in partnership with low income families to produce dignified housing through developing a strategic network of good neighbors.
  •  EMERGE — on behalf of the Northside Community Response Team (NCRT)— to specifically employ over 150 North Minneapolis youth and 13 adults to work on north side community beautification crews for 4-7 weeks during the summer of 2011.
  •  God’s Prayer Center for giving food, shelter, and counseling to the hardest hit on the North Side.
  • Sweetie Pie Urban Farming for creating organic community gardens with North Minneapolis youth.
  • At Home Group for their willingness to establish a Northside Relief Transportation Fund to buy month long bus passes for tornado victims in need of getting to work, visiting family, or traveling to and from the North Community YMCA.
  • iRelief (aka for effectively keeping the entire Minneapolis community informed on how to be of help to those directly hit by the tornado through their facebook site:  Mpls Tornado.   Plus, for directly organizing large food drives and benefits for the victims.

Christmas in July?

“The overwhelming number of great performances from Jeanne Arland Peterson’s jazz piano piece to stirring gospel numbers and Brother Ali’s riveting hip-hop set and all stops in-between — all recorded the night of the benefit concert — presents another opportunity to continue the funding effort, providing some key elements fall into place,” notes co-organizer and media contact, Martin Keller. “We are talking to musicians who played the benefit, local CD manufacturers, and our big box retailers and indie record stores about carrying such an album for the holidays that is priced right so that anyone can buy it and make a fitting contribution to the Northside community during the gift-giving season. Stay tuned.”

About the Northside Benefit Organization
The core organizing team for the Northside include: Arlana Vaughan, Sara Renner, Tonia Hughes, Catherine Reid Day, Claire Chamberlin,  Stuart Paster, Martin Keller, LeeAnn Weimar, and Larry Long.

Contributing organizations and businesses include:  Hennepin Theatre Trust, The State Theatre, Local Union 13 IATSE, Community Celebration of Place, Cordset Manufacturing,  Smart Set, Inc.,  Loring Theatre, Planet Claire Creative, Media Savant Communications Co., Storyslices, AVA Special Events, and the Minneapolis Foundation.

Artists, Emcees and Media Partners:

  • Sounds of Blackness
  • Soul Asylum
  • Brother Ali
  • Robert Robinson
  • Larry Long
  • Joyful Noize
  • Tonia Hughes
  • Billy McLaughlin Group
  • Toki Wright
  • Sara Renner
  • The TC Jammers: Featuring Jeanne, Patty, Jason and Paul Peterson
  • Jamecia Bennett
  • Cameron Wright
  • The New Standards
  • Dean Magraw
  • Prudence Johnson
  • GB Leighton
  • Brittany Delaney
  • Van Nixon
  • DJ Freddy Fresh
  • Darnell Davis and the Remnant
  • Kerri Noble
  • Ginger Commodore
  •  Thomasina Petrus
  • Emcees T. Mychael Rambo, Robyne Robinson, Angela Davis (WCCO-TV)

Media Partners: KMOJ, Cities 97, The Current, 96.3, KBEM, KFAI