Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bohemians, Bolsheviks and Border Rats Helps Fund Iskashitaa

On the evening of Friday, March 8th, at least a hundred people packed into Solar Culture
for a magical evening of literature and music. Passages from Iskashitaa volunteer Harvey Burgess' new book, Tucson Tales - Bohemians, Bolsheviks and Border Rats  were read in between music segments from local group Combo Westside, and folk singer Pete Sundt.

Refugees also contributed significantly to the event. Young Laxmi Dahal, who came to Tucson directly from a refugee camp in Nepal in 2008, and who starred in the Iskashitaa-sponsored Borderlands Theater production of the play Agnes Under the Big Tent, read from the book with passion and panache. Violinist Fadi Iskandar, an Armenian/Syrian refugee, who fled the Syrian city of Aleppo a few months ago, played solo violin and also performed onstage with Combo Westside. The combination of the group's mellifluous jazz, funk, bossa nova fusion and Fadi's warm, lyrical violin tones, was memorable.
Iskashitaa client, volunteer and friend, Tilahun Liben, an Ethiopian who arrived in Tucson in 2010 after spending ten years in a refugee camp, played the saxophone and the recorder. His deep, haunting sound brought the evening to a wonderful conclusion.

It was a unique event both in terms of the format and the broad cross-section of Tucsonans who attended. The atmosphere was terrific and the interaction between people was lively and good humored.

Iskashitaa was able to introduce refugees and its work on their behalf to the wider community, and for refugees to display their array of talents at one of Tucson's most iconic venues was truly groundbreaking.

Harvey Burgess

We cannot thank Harvey enough for his support through the years and this night was exceptional, with proceeds from his book, and from Combo Westside's CD's and the sales of Iskashitaa products all dedicated to benefiting Iskashitaa programming. Do you have a fundraising idea? Would you like to be a part of our fundraising committee? Please contact eiswerth@iskashitaa.org today.

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