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Carleton Mutual Aid to host collaborative concert

Carleton Mutual Aid (CMA) is collaborating with the Student Band Union and the Cave, Carleton’s student-run entertainment venue, to host this year’s annual JamFest this Saturday, October 23, from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m.

JamFest, organized by Student Band Union President Kou Okada ’22, is an opportunity for student musicians to connect and play with one another. This tradition was started in 2014 by Mary Begley ’14 for her American Studies comps project. Since her graduation, the Student Band Union has continued to organize the JamFest annually. This year, participants filled out a form indicating their instrument and group assignments, designed to give each band an even mix of instrumentalists, were released on Wednesday, with the task of organizing and rehearsing a 15-minute set to be performed at the Cave on Saturday.

According to Okada, six bands and over 30 students will be performing. Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band, featuring Carleton philosophy professor Dan Groll and St. Olaf musicology professor Louis Epstein, will also be playing a set.

Cave staff member Frances O’Grady ’23 initially brought the idea for the concert to Grace Bassekle ’24, who plays a significant role in managing CMA. The two met up to flesh out the idea, then got in contact with Okada and Cave staff. Together, they have been working for the past several weeks to bring the concert to fruition.

Although admission to the Cave is free for Carleton students, spectators are encouraged to donate to the Carleton Mutual Aid Fund (Venmo: @Carleton-MutualAid). This resource was set up in May 2021 by student organizers to “combat inequality and redistribute wealth on campus,” according to Bassekle, who adds that the fund is necessary because “financial aid doesn’t address all issues that students here encounter.” Carleton students can request funds for any need; past students have received payments for medical bills, groceries and clothes.

The concert is the most recent effort in a larger push to generate support, as CMA is routinely short of funds and therefore not always able to fill requests as soon as they are made. Past fundraising efforts have included hosting bake sales, tabling at Sayles Cafe, and publicizing on social media platforms such as Instagram (@CarletonMutualAid).

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