Paul Blumenfeld ’84 collaborated with City Winery and singer-songwriter Valerie June to host a virtual concert to mobilize voters and benefit organizations working to stop voter suppression.
Broadcasted virtually to viewers across the country on Oct. 18, the bipartisan “Voice Your Vote” event featured various Black musicians such as Allison Russel, Amythyst Kiah, Black Pumas, Brittany Howard, Chastity Brown and Jon Batiste.
Proceeds from the event benefited the Fair Fight and Movement Voter Project’s Black-Led Organizing Fund. Fair Fight is a national voting rights organization founded in Georgia by Stacey Abrams. The Movement Voter Project supports local organizations is key states, with a focus on youth and people of color, and to protect communities and voters. Their Black-Led Organizing fund supports Black community leaders in all 50 states. In addition to benefiting the organizations, the concert was designed to impart the sense of urgency felt by Black American artists and others around the country and to drive the audience to the polls.
The concert was initially inspired by June’s “Young, Gifted & Black” Spotify playlist. After Blumenfeld found the playlist, he reached out to June and City Winery with the idea to collaborate on a benefit concert to get out the vote.
“When I saw all of the amazing musicians on the playlist, I thought, what a great idea for a concert for an important cause and there’s never been a better moment than now for that,” Blumenfeld said in a televised interview with Fox 5 DC. “Live music has always played a role during important times in our country and all of the musicians, we have some great poems performing as well, all of their music is for the most part is deeply rooted in American traditional music roots.”
At HWS, Blumenfeld was an American Studies major and a member of Phi Kappa Tau. He began his career as a sales rep at Applied Reasoning and later led the company’s transition from an information management consultancy to an internet practice that helped companies like Intel, HP and Sun Microsystems launch their first web presences. Currently, Blumenfeld works in recruitment for high tech start-ups.