Jaqui is a musician, a master drummer, and a beloved drum teacher within the Pagan community and without. She drums with KIVA. She makes her living this way, and she shares her considerable gifts far and wide; she's worked in hospitals, battered women's shelters, prisons. She is also a radiant person who is kind to everyone-- the sort of person that the instant you meet her, she puts you at your ease and makes you feel like a longtime friend. Her smile lights up the room.
She is also among the many Americans who, in trying to carve out a living as an independent artist, cannot afford health insurance. Recently, she was diagnosed with a large tumor requiring immediate surgery. She got through the surgery fine and thankfully, the tumor is benign. However, her costs for the surgery and recovery total about $35,000. Fundraising efforts so far have provided her with about a third of that.
When I heard about it, I immediately thought, "I could do something to help her." And then Kelly Brooks, organizer extraordinaire of Fires of Venus among other things, got in touch with me to partner with me, and several other wonderful, generous folks signed on to help plan. And what was born was Night of Joy! A Benefit Celebration for Jaqui MacMillan.
It's on Saturday, December 10th, from 6-10 PM at the 2640 Space, a gorgeous artists' co-op in an old church on St. Paul Street in Baltimore. Tickets are $50 and $25 of that is tax-deductible thanks to our nonprofit trustee partner, drumSTRONG. It'll be a catered dinner with DJ, dancing, drum jam, silent auction, video booth, entertainment, and lots of shenanigans!
Obviously, I'd love for you-- yes, you!-- to attend. If you can't, but you want to help Jaqui out, our ticket sales page includes an option to make an "I'll be there in spirit" donation which is fully tax-deductible. And if you have friends in the Baltimore region, or who are part of the indie music, drum circle, or Pagan communities, please spread the word. I'm leaving this post public so it can be shared.
So if you don't know Jaqui, why might you want to attend?
1) Send a message to the world that we value our independent artists and the people who choose the path that offers little traditional stability, in order to do what they were really put in this world to do. You don't have to be Pagan or a music person or part of any particular crowd in order to believe in this.
2) It's a night out in December that isn't holiday-themed, so you can be joyful and rowdy regardless of what you do or don't celebrate at this time of the year.
3) You can wear whatever you want. All those colorful costumey things, or the garb you love dearly, or the hot outfit you never have enough chances to wear? Wear it here. Be eye candy and enjoy the wild variety of eye candy around you.
4) How often do you go to an event where you can bribe people to do crazy stuff on your behalf? Well, you can do that here!
5) If you like to drum or you like to attend drum circles, it's a chance to enjoy a great drum jam in the cold months, when these things tend to be pretty scarce. Bring your glow toys!
6) Need a gift for someone, or want to treat yourself? Check out the amazing array of stuff that deboranter and velvet_c and others have collected for the silent auction! You could get a great gift at a great price.
7) Meet new, awesome people! Know how at most events everyone tends to cluster up with their friends and it's hard to break the ice? Well, here it'll be way more interactive. People will be going out of their way to draw you into the fun.
8) When was the last time you treated yourself to a special night out, where you got dressed up and danced your butt off and it was really an occasion? Something that isn't work-related, where you can let your hair down and be silly and creative and not have to be all professional-networky and on your best behavior? Give yourself an experience. You deserve it.
Spread the word! I hope we'll see you there!