Concert For America will commence this weekend, in hopes to benefit the non-profit organizations working with families at the southern border.
Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley of SiriusXM will host the concert, which features music, commentary, and comedy at New York’s Great Hall at The Cooper Union. The lineup includes celebrities like comedian Tina Fey, Broadway stars Idina Menzel and Mandy Gonzales, and actresses Audra McDonald and Chita Rivera. Jeremy Jordan, Olga Merediz, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Andrew Rannells, Keala Settle, Shaina Taub, and Patrick Wilson will also take the stage.
Concert For America, slated for June 30, will coincide with the coming day of national protests, Rudetsky noted in a statement.
The Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” initiative, formed to stop illegal border crossings, has led to families being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. After more than 2,500 children were separated from their parents and detained in various facilities, President Trump signed an executive order to end immigrant family separations. However, thousands of children remain separated from their parents, and the zero tolerance prosecution policy will continue.
“James and I have been increasingly horrified at what’s going on with these families struggling at the border,” Rudetsky said.
Husbands Rudetsky and Wesley formed ‘Your Kids, Our Kids’ in 2015 in hopes to directly help the vulnerable children in the U.S. However, by the end of 2016, the organization realized that the number of people at risk in the country widened, including adults as well. Last January, the duo put on their first edition of Concert For America in New York City.
The show this Saturday was planned very last-minute. Rudetsky explained to Playbill that the organization couldn’t use their regular venues, so Donna Lieberman from the NYCLU recommended the Great Hall of the Cooper Union. He found out that the Great Hall actually stood for “bastion of free speech and a witness to the flow of American History and ideas” since 1858, and has served as the location for protests by the NAACP, the Women’s Suffrage movement, and the American Red Cross. Additionally, great leaders like Presidents Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Barack Obama spoke there.
“We decided that it’s time to fill that hall with some belting!” he exclaimed.
General admission tickets are $25, with VIP seats rounding out to $250. Ticket proceeds will go toward groups protecting civil and human rights of families on the border, including Al Otro Lado, Texas Civil Rights Project, ACLU Foundation of Texas, and Florence Project. For those who can’t attend, the event will be streamed live on Facebook and at ConcertsforAmerica.com this Saturday at 5 p.m. Tickets are available here.