The world lost a true paragon of song and social activism when Pete Seeger passed away in January. In celebration of his life and legacy, Governor Dayton has declared Saturday, May 3, to be Pete Seeger Day in Minnesota, on what would have been his 95th birthday.
A gathering of a wide-array of Minnesota artists, musicians, and civic leaders are gathering at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul as part of a multimedia event that they are affectionately calling, "For Pete's Sake." Members of Seeger's family will be in attendance on an evening dedicated to paying tribute to the venerable folksinger and activist.
WHEREAS: Pete Seeger spent his entire life -- and nearly the entire 20th Century -- advocating for social, economic, and political change, equality among all people, and environmental justice; and
WHEREAS: Pete Seeger was a renowned musician, who helped to revolutionize folk music with well-known songs such as - "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn! Turn! Turn!," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" -- which have become embedded in the American music tradition; and
WHEREAS: Pete Seeger bravely served his country during World War II, courageously spoke out against McCarthyism, and advocated for positive change throughout his life; and WHEREAS: Pete Seeger was an artist with an enduring legacy of social activism and musical ability, who inspired futuregenerations of artists in the United States and around the world; and
WHEREAS: Pete Seeger passed away in his home state of New York at the age of 94 on January 14, 2014, leaving behind three children and numerous grandchildren; and WHEREAS: We come together on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014, the 95th anniversary of his birth, to honor Pete Seeger, one of the most influential and inspiring musicians of the past century.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MARK DAYTON, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim Saturday, May 3, 2014, as: PETE SEEGER DAY in the State of Minnesota.
The night will celebrate many facets of Seeger's life in a rich, multi-media presentation. His music as well as his causes will be honored and performed, while Minneapolis filmmaker William Eigen will share and discuss footage from his beloved documentary on Seeger. The show will be recorded and broadcast by Radio Heartland.
"For Pete's Sake grew out of encouraging hometowns and communities across the country to honor Seeger on his 95th birthday. And people responded from Israel to Norway," says the event's producer Larry Long. "Our celebration was rooted in Pete's concept to think globally and act locally. When I look at the bill, I feel like we've really accomplished that. If our featured artists -- many of whom have national reach - can fill the house, we will have also succeeded in creating something that can be replicated by others in other communities."
The long list of featured performers are as follows:
Waubanewquay Dorene Day
Mitch Walking Elk
Lorna Her Many Horses
And the featured narrators who will be taking part in the presentation are:
Dale Connelly (News Director, KFAI, Fresh Air Community Radio)
Anthony Galloway (Student Learning Programs Specialist, West Metro Education Program)
Randy Furst & Chris Serres (Minnesota Newspaper Guild)
Rod Volker (Vietnam Veteran, Marine Corp, Bring a Vet Home)
Alejandra Tobar (Actress)
Kim Ellison (Minneapolis Public School Board)
Louis Alemayehu (Poet)
Jacqueline Long (Attorney, Community Activist)
Sharon Sayles Belton (Former Mayor of Minneapolis)
Alanna Galloway (Communication Workers of America AFL-CIO)
Dr. Josie Johnson (Civil Rights & Social Justice Elder)
Ann Bancroft (Polar Explorer, Founder of Ann Bancroft Foundation)
Reverend Dr. Will Healy (Park Avenue Methodist Church)
Rhiana Yazzie (Playwright, Artistic Director of New Native Theatre)
Jacob Reitan (LGBT Activist, Founder of Soulforce Equality Ride)
Scarlett Lopez Cruz & Hector Lopez Cruz (Actors and Youth Activists)
William Bunton (Freedom School Scholar)
For Pete's Sake is set to take place from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 3. Tickets are available through the Fitzgerald Theater's box office and online via Ticketmaster. All proceeds from the night will benefit the Children's Defense Fund and Freedom School.
To RSVP and to find out updated information about For Pete's Sake, check out the event's Facebook page.
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