Saturday, August 31. Door at 6 PM, music starts at 7.
This concert featuring David Rosane & The Zookeepers and Owen Nied at Stage 33 Live caps off a special fundraiser for our nearby rural libraries in Vermont and New Hampshire.
This summer, libraries across the country are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing and America’s achievements in space research. Library professionals chose the slogan “A Universe of Stories” for their summer reading programs to inspire people of all ages to dream big, believe in themselves, and create their own story.
Also this summer, David Rosane & the Zookeepers (whose latest album, Book of ZOO, won the 2019 Tammie Award for best Vermont rock album), will be touring in support of rural libraries. A self-described ‘fringe’ band known for delivering humor, intellectualism, and drama in equal doses, The Zookeepers have dubbed the tour “Across the ZOO-niverse: a 2019 Library-Space Odyssey and Benefit Tour, Rockin’ Vermont for Literacy, Democracy and Free Speech.”
The band’s frontman, David Rosane, said, “What started out last year as a grassroots effort led by a trio of crazed bookworms has blossomed. We now have the full-fledged support of the Vermont Department of Libraries, lots of media attention, a recent appearance at the Vermont State Legislature, a bunch of local business sponsors, and towns inviting us to play for them!”
The band’s first library-fundraising tour received considerable media coverage — from VPR to WCAX and Seven Days and many local papers — which helped shine a light on the issues facing libraries as these legendary institutions see their revenue decrease across the country at a time when they are becoming increasingly crucial to the public interest. The tour caught the eye of the Vermont Department of Libraries, which is now helping the band to reiterate and expand their efforts.
The concert in Bellows Falls will be the last stop on the Zookeepers’ 2019 Library Benefit Tour. This year’s tour, featuring Don Sinclair on bass and guitar, and Jennifer Grossi on vocals, synthesizer, and percussion, will also pass through Burlington, Cabot, Enosburg, Rochester, Peacham, Bradford, Derby Line, Barre, Middletown Springs, Weston, Groton, Marshfield, Hardwick, Chelsea, and East Fairfield.
“All donations raised at the door of each show go to the local library and their programs and needs”, said Rosane. “In addition to fundraising, we really want to draw attention to the role that libraries play in our towns and villages. They aren’t just a place for books — they’re community centers, an open space for public events and life-long learning. Or people can just hang and socialize… a cool place for the lonely, the elderly, and special populations.”
Band member Jennifer Grossi adds, “The collective awareness on how vital libraries are to our lives and liberty is growing. In many communities in Vermont, libraries are the only places some people can access the internet — imagine how crucial that factor can be in making voting decisions, for example, or even getting inspired to vote.”
The tour’s grand finale in Bellows Falls on August 31st at Stage 33 Live will fundraise for multiple libraries of the Mid-Connecticut Valley.
Vermont has the highest number of libraries per capita in the United States, ranging from beautifully historic to tiny, and from cutting-edge to make-do. All of them are pillars of the common good, a place to gather and network, access ideas and resources.
In raising funds for libraries, the Zookeepers help answer needs ranging from the purchase of new computers, facility improvement, financing kid’s programs involving health awareness and event-based citizen science, to the purchase of environmentally friendly materials. As frontman Rosane says, “A little help can go a long way.”