Dorothy Day House & Vitamin Em collaborate to bring music to people experiencing homelessness in Berkeley, CA.
Free Public Concert
Saturday, June 3, 1:30pm-4:00pm
Berkeley Civic Center Park
Berkeley, CA 94704
The Dorothy Day House homeless shelter and the Bay Area music collective Vitamin Em announce a collaborative new music performance project to expand awareness of the shelter’s work through the power of music. Funded by a City of Berkeley Civic Arts grant, this project allows Vitamin Em to compose new and original music, rehearse it, and then perform it for those served by the Dorothy Day House and Bay Area communities.
These new musical works will be performed at a free public concert and fundraiser on Saturday, June 3 at 1:30pm at the Berkeley Civic Center Park at 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley. The family friendly afternoon-long event will take place across from the Dorothy Day House, next to the Farmer’s Market, and will include speakers and community leaders. The Dorothy Day House Food Truck will be selling BBQ lunches made in their kitchen and the organization will hold a drive for men’s t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers.
For more information, visit VitaminEmBand.com and DorothyDayHouseBerkeley.org
During the pandemic, Vitamin Em violist Emily Onderdonk was introduced to Dorothy Day House and felt a strong need to bring awareness to the organization and a deep desire to ensure equitable access to music. She felt Dorothy Day House’s mission, to foster a compassionate and collaborative environment focused on the individual and collective happiness of everyone who comes through the organization’s doors, was a perfect place to develop a new model of community activism that combines art with service. The City of Berkeley Civic Arts grant has allowed Vitamin Em and Dorothy Day House to further this model by coming together, taking action, and providing a voice to people experiencing homelessness.
Founded in 1992, the Dorothy Day House, at 1931 Center Street in Berkeley, is a women-managed organization with staff made up primarily of people who have lived within the Bay Area unhoused communities. They provide a comprehensive one-stop shop of vital services - shelter, food, clothing, bathroom facilities, laundry and shower services, lockers, mail service, daytime respite, connections to medical care, covid tests and vaccines, addiction referrals, and more.
Formed in 2015, Vitamin Em is a collective of some of the top musicians in the Bay Area - creators and performers with well-established careers, drawn to collaborate with each other in new and exciting ways. Their goal is to create joyful, uplifting, and moving performances of original and diverse music. Vitamin Em features Evan Price and Mads Tolling on violin, Emily Onderdonk on viola, Michael Graham on cello, Paul Hanson on bassoon, and Rob Reich on accordion.
Dorothy Day House Berkeley was founded in the spirit of Dorothy Day, the faith-based social change activist who played a major role in the antiwar, women’s rights, civil rights, labor, and human services movements of the 1920s right through the Vietnam Era. With the cooperation of UC Berkeley, Dorothy Day House began in 1992 by serving daily breakfasts to the people experiencing homelessness at People's Park. Dorothy Day House now has numerous programs including: Beyond the Horizon, a hotel model shelter at the Berkeley Inn, the Berkeley Community Resource Center, a day-time drop in center, seasonal emergency warming shelters, and Mobile Outreach Service Teams (MOST). Previous programs include: Double Helping Hands, Horizon Transitional Village, and SPARK, Safe Parking and Respite Kickstart for RVs, highlighting Dorothy Day House’s innovative thinking and out of the box spirit. Their newest program, Dorothy’s Closet, is due to open this summer at 2425 Channing Way in Berkeley and will bring free clothing to those in need. For more information, visit DorothyDayHouseBerkeley.org.