Tragic events this past winter called attention to the difficult working and living conditions that many California farmworkers face. Shootings that killed seven people at two Half Moon Bay mushroom farms as well as severe weather events, including heavy flooding in the Pajaro region near Watsonville, brought the focus to the economic and health hardships workers face every day, from unsafe working and housing conditions to hunger and lack of healthcare.
Gilroy-based nonprofit Earth to Table is hosting a benefit concert Sept. 19 at The Guild Theatre in Menlo Park to raise funds for organizations that support farmworkers.
The lineup highlights a variety of music from Bay Area bands. On the bill are legendary Latin rock group Malo with founding member Richard Bean, Latin jazz with Juan Escovedo All-Stars, funky grooves in a mix of genres with The Bernal Beat, plus rock with bands The Just Project and All Nighter featuring Ricky Watters Jr.
In addition to plenty of music, the event features speakers Dr. Belinda Hernandez Arriaga, founder and executive director of Ayudando Latinos a Soñar (ALAS); Abel Sanchez, filmmaker and songwriter of “A song for Cesar” and Dolores Huerta, civil rights leader and farmworkers advocate.
Rounding out the event will be a short film about farmworkers, which aims to "help the audience learn more about the struggles of the people who provide food for the country and contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy," according to a press release about the event.
The concert is the first such benefit hosted by Earth to Table, but organizers seek to make this fundraiser an annual event. Funds from the show will benefit ALAS, Dolores Huerta Foundation and Puente de la Costa Sur, organizations that provide support and resources for farmworkers.
The Benefit for Farmworkers takes place Sept. 19, 7-9 p.m. at The Guild Theatre, 949 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Tickets are $50-$100. guildtheatre.com