On this Day:
On April 21, 2004 “Rock for the Rainforest” benefit concert was held at Carnegie Hall, New York City. Performers included: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Bette Midler, and Little Jimmy Scott.
The theme was “Singin’ in the Rain ‘Forest’: Great Songs from the Movies.” According to Rainforest Foundation Co-founder and Concert Producer Trudie Styler: “The combination of some of the greatest performers of today and classic songs from the silver screen is going to result in a truly unforgettable evening for a cause that must never be forgotten.”
The Rainforest Foundation was founded in 1989 by Trudie Styler and her husband, Sting. Over the past 15 years, the Foundation has been working with Indigenous peoples to help them assert their rights and make their voice heard. To date, the foundation has projects in rainforest countries in three
continents and has raised over 19 million dollars to support its mission.
“In too many countries the voices of Indigenous people are still smothered by the darkness of intolerance and neglect. The threat to their home is part of a larger threat to the planet and our common future. While forests and its peoples are gaining greater global attention, deforestation and forest degradation are continuing at an alarming rate and Indigenous peoples’ land and rights are at risk. Our work is more crucial than ever.” These comments were made by Rainforest Foundation Fund Chairperson, Franca Sciuto.
The concert was the culmination of various awareness-building and fundraising events in New York known as “Rainforest Awareness Week.”
A limited number of “good” concert only seats were available at $600 each as well as some “super” seats for $2,500 that included admittance to the post-show gala and dinner.
Rock for the Rainforest is a biennial (formerly annual) benefit concert held by the Rainforest Foundation Fund and Rainforest Foundation US, hosted by the organizations’ founders Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, since 1991. In addition to the annual flagship concert, Sting holds other concerts and hosts other types of events to benefit the Rainforest Foundation. In addition to Sting, regular performers at the event include Elton John, Billy Joel, and James Taylor.
The event holds the Guinness World Record for the largest environmental fundraising event. By 1996, the concerts had raised over $6,000,000; by 2000, more than $11,000,000; by 2004, more than $20,000,000. Money is raised through corporate sponsorships, individual and group ticket sales, and related events like a benefit dinner and silent auction.
The event, which up until 2004 had always been held at Carnegie Hall in Midtown Manhattan, is a “spring tradition in New York” and a “fixture on the Manhattan charity circuit.” At the 1997 and 2006 events, the Empire State Building was lighted green on the night of the concert.
The concert funds projects that benefit the indigenous peoples of the world’s rainforests. The Rainforest Foundation Fund supports projects by three independent national organizations: Rainforest Foundation Norway, Rainforest Foundation US, and Rainforest Foundation UK. Kayapo Chief Raoni delivered a ten-minute speech in his native language at the first concert, which was subsequently translated into English for the audience.
First, a Story:
What do you call a jungle where animals talk about current events?
A topical rainforest.
Second, a Song:
Rainforests 101: National Geographic
Rainforests are home to over half of the world’s plant and animal species. Learn about tropical and temperate rainforests, how they contribute to the global ecosystem, and the conservation efforts being done to protect these biomes.
Thought for the Day:
Think you can’t make a difference. Look what a mere seed can do.
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Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2022 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky
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