The Recorder – Ukraine benefit concert soothes souls with food, music at Blue Rock

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Published: 4/3/2022 6:35:01 PM

Modified: 4/3/2022 6:34:22 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — For Blue Rock restaurant manager Holly Sonntag and Rise Up Productions co-founder Kara Wolf, holding a Ukraine benefit concert was a matter of healing from transnational wounds.

“We’re just as hurt, even if we aren’t feeling the physical aspect of it,” Sonntag said of Americans concerned about the conflict.

The concert, held Sunday afternoon, brought together food, music and dozens of locals to raise money for World Central Kitchen, which provides meals in the wake of humanitarian crises. Sonntag and Wolf agreed that World Central Kitchen was the perfect organization to benefit with a concert, considering that Blue Rock functions similarly to serve the community through food and that Rise Up’s primary mission is to benefit nonprofits via performance art. In an effort to surpass their $2,000 fundraising goal, both parties have turned to their respective skills as tools for good.

“I think when you’re waiting, you should be doing whatever you can with your talent,” Sonntag said, turning to Wolf. “These are powers. We have food, you have music.”

“I think it’s all about coming together and being something bigger than ourselves,” Wolf said. “That’s what Rise Up is all about.”

Sonntag also praised World Central Kitchen for locally sourcing its food, something Blue Rock prides itself on. She called sourcing food locally “an opportunity to rebuild the community from the ground up.”

The day’s entertainment was provided by local band MEGA, who performed an upbeat, danceable mix of rock, funk and soul music. Wolf, who complemented MEGA on-stage as a vocalist, argued that a concert not only functioned to draw donors, but ease the mind of those who attended during such a strenuous time.

“Sometimes, people just need to hear some rock ‘n’ roll,” she said, adding that she hoped the event would turn “something that is feeling really troubling into something really hopeful and positive.”

Blue Rock and Rise Up invite those interested in donating further to do so at Alternatively, donations can be sent to @Kara-Jurkowski via Venmo or via PayPal.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or

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