Australia is burning. At least 28 people have died, over 2,000 homes have been destroyed, and over 24 million acres have burned since September. These staggering numbers are hard to process in their own right—and that’s before you try to process the number of animals that have died.
Experts estimate that 1 billion animals have died in the bushfires so far, resulting in irreversible damage to the ecosystem. Wrenching pictures of burnt koalas and kangaroos are likely populating your social media feeds at this very moment, as rescue crews scramble to keep pace with the fires.
There are plenty of worthy causes online to donate too; on January 26, you can also attend a benefit concert at Cat’s Cradle that will donate all proceeds to WIRES, Australia’s largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organization. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted at the door.
The concert features a stacked bill of local talent: Lydia Loveless, Reese McHenry, Charles Latham and the Borrowed Band, TRIPLE X SNAXXX, and Curtis Eller’s American Circus will perform, among several other bands. The all-women standup comedy troupe Eyes Up Here will also perform a set.
“Like many people, I’ve watched the horrific news out of Australia and felt overwhelmed by the scale of the devastation with over a billion animals killed and many more critically injured, sick, or starving,” concert organizer Kimberly Fenton says, “I’d replay the scenes in my head at night and feel helpless. I saw that a friend was organizing something similar in another part of the country and I thought, “Why can’t we do this too?””
Fenton says that after floating the idea on social media, she was flooded with volunteer offers and messages from musicians offering to play.
“It has been amazing and reaffirming to see all the goodness in other people –particularly at this moment in our culture when we need that most,” Fenton says. “I’m grateful to be part of such a deeply caring community.”
You can find out more event info here and find out more about the WIRES relief efforts here.
Contact deputy arts and culture editor Sarah Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org
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