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SSU to host Sonoma County fire relief concert

By: Katherine Minkiewicz
August 3, 2018

Country star Brad Paisley and actress Bonnie Hunt are slated to headline this weekends’ “Thicker than Smoke” fundraising concert at the Sonoma State University Weill Hall and Lawn August 3 and 4. Proceeds from the concert will go towards first responders who lost their homes in the October 2017 wildfires.

In addition to the fundraising concert, a communal sharing event will also take place, allowing victims of last years’ devastating wildfires a space to tell their stories August 3. 100 percent of the ticket proceeds will go to a long-term Sonoma County relief fund, “the Resilience Fund.”

“This event is a perfect example of the healing power of the arts and we are so grateful that this donation will be coming to the foundation nine months after the fires when there still remain tremendous unmet needs in the community,” Elizabeth Brown, CEO for Community Foundation Sonoma County told Sonoma State University news. 

The “Thicker than Smoke: An evening of Community Storytelling,” will be hosted by notable storyteller and Sonoma County educator, Brandon Spars, the author of “Live to tell: Six award winning tales.”

Spares is also a humanities teacher and speech coach with Sonoma Academy. Spares will be facilitating the discussion, which will feature around 10 local individuals who share their tales of tragedy and inspiration following the outbreak of the fast moving fire on Oct. 8.

This Saturday’s acoustic concert will also interweave locals’ stories with the music, creating a healing and inspirational atmosphere for all.

SSU President Judy K. Sakaki said in a statement that she is honored Sonoma State gets to be a part of the healing process for all those who were impacted by the deadly fire.

“From the beginning the university has been a partner in the healing and the rebuilding that is occurring in Sonoma County. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together, to support one another and to share our stories of what happened during those horrific days in October,” Sakaki said in the statement. Tickets for both events are still availableat: https://gmc.sonoma.edu/thicker_than_smoke.