Literary minds come together for hunger benefitOctober 11, 2011 No Comments
LAS CRUCES — in 1994, La Sociedad para las Artes, an outreach organization from the New Mexico State University, joined the fight to combat hunger in America by hosting an annual hunger benefit. Writers in the country hold benefit readings in November, with all the proceeds going to local food banks.
This year, the benefit will feature readings by poet Juliana Spahr, as well as contributors to “Beauty is a Verb: the New Poetry of Disability,” an anthology of poetry and essays by authors with disabilities. two of the anthology’s editors, Las Cruces poet Sheila Black and Jennifer Bartlett, will be among the contributors for the readings, which begin at 6 p.m. at Beverly Hills Hall, 150 N. Hermosa St. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for a silent auction, and tickets are $10.
The benefit will also feature a chile cook off at 7 p.m., an appearance by local sculptor Olin Calk, acoustic bluegrass music and games and a cash bar.
“It is estimated that 19 percent of New Mexicans go to sleep hungry each night. every penny raised by the ticket sales, chile cookoff and auction items benefits Casa de Peregrinos,” Connie Voisine, associate NMSU English professor. Voisine has been working with La Sociedad Para Las Artes since 2002.
“Casa de Peregrinos provides emergency food relief to individuals and families in Doña Ana County who find themselves faced with an unforeseen crisis,” Voisine said. “So far this year, over 6,000 families in Doña Ana were served food staples by Casa de Peregrinos.”
Now in its 18th year, the hunger benefit has raised close to $65, 000.
Voisine said last year’s event featured Charles Bowden, who spoke about the violence in Juárez.
Seeing the community coming together, even in a tough economy, was heartening, Voisine said.
“While I know that it’s hard for everyone with the recent economic situation, I am moved to see people pitch in and give what they can — that’s the heart of Las Cruces and we get to see it in action,” Voisine said.
For more information or to donate to the hunger benefit, contact Connie Voisine at email@example.com.
To learn more about Casa de Peregrinos or make an online donation, visit casadeperegrinos.org.
Freelance writer Sylvia Quintanilla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: La Sociedad para las Artes hunger benefit
When: 6 p.m. today (doors open at 5 p.m.)
Where: Beverly Hills Hall, 150 N. Hermosa St.
Cost: Tickets are $10
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