NEW CANAAN, Conn. (June 9, 2010) – Peter Yarrow, the legendary folk singer, songwriter, and social activist of Peter, Paul and Mary, will perform at the Voices of September 11th (VOICES) third annual Always Remember Benefit on June 14, 2010. His performance will follow Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s keynote address. All proceeds from the event will benefit VOICES’ 9/11 Living Memorial Project, a digital archive that chronicles the nearly 3,000 lives lost and documents the inspirational stories of those who survived.
The event begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by Mr. Blair’s keynote remarks, dinner and a performance by Peter Yarrow. The event will be held in Downtown Manhattan and attendees will be notified of the location upon registration. To make a reservation, visit www.voicesofsept11.org or contact the VOICES office at 203 966 3911.
VOICES Founding Director Mary Fetchet said, “In the days following 9/11, musicians often opened their hearts to express their grief and empathy by telling personal stories through their lyrics. We are extremely honored and excited to have Peter Yarrow perform at our upcoming event. Many generations have enjoyed his timeless music and benefitted from his commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. His social activism sends an inspirational message of global peace, unity and international respect,” Ms. Fetchet said.
Shortly after 9/11, Peter offered a free concert at Central Synagogue in which families of victims and survivors were invited. The attendees were sung to, honored, and embraced with great love by Peter, his daughter Bethany, and her musical partner Rufus Cappadocia.
For decades, Yarrow has been a committed social activist who uses his music as an outlet for spreading awareness of ongoing social injustices. “The transformation of society, so greatly needed in these times, can only partially come about through the creation of better laws and fairer public policies. Change must be created in our hearts for it to take hold and sustain. Beyond our intellect, the nurturing of our spirit is essential. And that,” says Yarrow, “is where music and the arts play their special role.”
This year’s Always Remember Benefit recognizes the beginning of VOICES’ international outreach to the victims’ families living in the 90 countries outside the U.S. Frank and Mary Fetchet traveled to London in November 2009 to meet with the 9/11 families living in the U.K.
The 9/11 Living Memorial Project grew from the needs of those impacted to memorialize their loved ones, and the obligation of the nation to document the history of that day. Since VOICES launched the project in 2006, VOICES staff has met with over 800 families, rescue workers and survivors. The 9/11 Living Memorial, currently online at www.911livingmemorial.org, includes an extensive collection of over 40,000 photographs of each victim’s life, along with missing person posters, memorial programs, and treasured mementos. This year, VOICES transferred over 11,000 images to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The images will be used in the “Wall of Faces” and other exhibits, representing the human face in the physical museum.
About Peter Yarrow
Since high school, Peter Yarrow’s commitment and life’s work have been directed by awareness that music of conscience can have an extraordinary effect when utilized in efforts to positively transform society. As a performer and social activist, Peter has used music to inspire and mobilize people and create a more just, peaceful, and compassionate society. Through such efforts, beginning in the early 1960’s, the music of Peter, Paul and Mary became, for literally millions of people, the genesis of their awakening to activism, idealism and a life long commitment to working for positive social change.
Now, after almost five decades of advocacy for civil rights, peace, social justice, and a sustainable environment, Yarrow’s activities have become focused on the work Operation Respect (OR), a non-profit he founded a decade ago that disseminates a free classroom-based program “Don’t Laugh At Me”(DLAM). DLAM addresses the toxic culture of bullying by utilizing the creative arts in conjunction with research-based curricula. The program strives to create a caring, respectful classroom environment in order to eliminate the emotional and physical violence than afflicts today’s children.
As an artist and member of Peter, Paul and Mary, Yarrow’s gift for songwriting has produced some of the trio’s most moving songs such as “Puff, The Magic Dragon”, “Day Is Done” “The Great Mandala” and “Light One Candle.”
About Tony Blair
Tony Blair was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1953. He became Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, North East England, in 1983, Leader of the Labour Party in 1994 and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1997 to June 2007.
Since leaving Downing Street, Tony Blair has served as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East. He represents the USA, UN, Russia and EU, working with the Palestinians to prepare for statehood as part of the international community’s effort to secure peace.
In May 2008 he launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation which promotes respect and understanding between the major religions and makes the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world.
His Africa Governance Initiative delivers projects in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, advising the leaders and their governments on policy delivery and attracting investment.
As the first major head of government to bring climate change to the top of the international political agenda at the 2005 G8 summit, Tony Blair works with world leaders to build consensus on an international climate policy framework.
In recognition of his debt to the North East of England, he has launched The Tony Blair Sports Foundation, to increase opportunities for young people to participate in sport.
He is married to Cherie Booth QC, and they have four children.
Tony Blair has set up the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to undertake educational and humanitarian projects, which build understanding and bring people of different faiths together as an alternative to religious conflict around the world. www.tonyblairfaithfoundation.org
About VOICES of September 11th
Voices of September 11th (VOICES) was co-founded by 9/11 family members Mary Fetchet and Beverly Eckert immediately following the attacks on September 11th. Currently led by Ms. Fetchet, a clinical social worker who lost her 24-year-old son Brad, the organization provides information and resources to over 10,000 9/11 families, rescue workers and survivors. VOICES services include teleconference support groups, case management services, an e-newsletter and an annual September 10th Information Forum and September 11th Commemorative Luncheon in New York City. VOICES supported the creation of the 9/11 Commission and legislation based on its recommendations, with a focus on promoting preparedness on the local, state and federal levels. In 2006 VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial Project which commemorates the lives lost and documents firsthand accounts of rescue workers and survivors.
About the 9/11 Living Memorial Project
The 9/11 Living Memorial Project (LM), launched by Voices of September 11th in 2006, chronicles the nearly 3,000 lives lost and documents the firsthand accounts of rescue workers and survivors at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa. The 9/11 Living Memorial Project grew from the needs of the families to memorialize their loved ones, and the obligation of the nation to document the history of that day. VOICES staff was uniquely qualified to assist families through the emotional process of memorializing their loved ones. Since the project was launched they have conducted several hundred workshops and met one-on-one with over 800 families, rescue workers and survivors throughout the country. Families have contributed over 40,000 photographs and personal keepsakes to the extensive collection.
The 9/11 Living Memorial Project will become a core component of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to be built in New York City. This year VOICES transferred over 11,000 digital images to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum that will be on display in the “Wall of Faces” and other exhibits in the museum. The archive, currently online at www.voicesofsept11.org, includes memorials and foundations and will expand over time to showcase the caring, courage and compassion the world experienced that day. Oral histories and family videos will be included over time. VOICES hosts 9/11 Living Memorial appointments at their offices in New Canaan, CT and New Brunswick and workshops are scheduled weekly in communities around the country. For more information on how to participate in the 9/11 Living Memorial Project and for a schedule of events, visit www.voicesofsept11.org or contact the VOICES office at 203 966 3911.