‘Stay Mad, Make Art’ For A Great Cause


Actor Rachel McKinney

Audrey Weinbrecht

On Monday September 16th I had the pleasure of attending the Stay Mad, Make Art concert presented by The Three Angry Ladies to benefit Immigrant Families Together. The concert was held at the historic West Park Presbyterian Church on West 86th street which doubles as a performance venue. In keeping with their mission to promote diversity and the local artistic community, The Center donated their space for free. In addition to the performances there were also silent auctions for theater tickets, a raffle and an open bar.

The charity the evening was benefitting, Immigrant Families Together, is a network that raises money to reunify and support families separated by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. 100% of the money raised is going directly to the affected families. So far, they have reunited 82 families.

The Three Angry Ladies assembled a diverse group of performers for a memorable evening of poetry, opera, rap, musical theater, a little rock, and a drag show. The performances ranged from hilarious to intensely emotional, some with political messages and others just for fun. The evening was hosted by Jiggy Caliente, who was a contestant on season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Her irreverent humor made the intimate gathering feel like a party with good friends.

The first performer, Nadia Quinn, opened the show by setting the Emma Lazarus poem “The New Colossus” to music. Later in the evening, in a beautiful but likely unintentional echo, Rachel McKinney, who used to work as a guide on the Statue of Liberty tour, took several family histories that she heard as a guide and turned them into poetry.

Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi performed an original poem called “A Black Trans-Woman Speaks to America,” though the word ‘performed’ doesn’t adequately describe the way she threw herself into the piece, trembling with emotion. The entire audience seemed to be holding its breath as she spoke and burst into applause when she finished.

Other highlights were Abbey Immer’s touching song about her mother, Ciana Miceli’s stunning rendition of “Defying Gravity”, and Diana Oh’s wonderful rock set to close out the evening.

In the end, it all coalesced into a wonderful sample of what the New York performing arts community has to offer.

Visit https://immigrantfamiliestogether.com/ to find out how you can support the cause.

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