The IU Oxfam Club will put on its annual benefit concert, “Oxjam,” at 7:15 p.m. Friday at the Collins Coffeehouse.
The Oxfam Club is a student-run organization affiliated with Oxfam America, an organization focused on alleviating global poverty. The event is free, but Greta Herbertz, Oxfam board member and Oxjam organizer, said a $5 donation is recommended.
The club will also be selling pizza and drinks for $1 each and T-shirts for $7. Concert proceeds will be donated to Shalom Community Center, a Bloomington homeless outreach.
“We’re hoping that it’s a way to create dialogue about what’s going on in Bloomington and how we can all get involved,” Herbertz said.
Over the last few years, the club was more focused on aiding global issues through this event such as the famine in Africa’s Sahel region or the refugee crisis in South Sudan, Herbertz said. But in the last two years, it has centered back in on the Bloomington community.
“We wanted to focus on a local issue because that’s something our club is really trying to work on,” Herbertz said.
The nearly three-hour fundraiser will feature speakers and performances from artists such as Rosegirl, Mariachi Perla del Medio Oeste and guitarist Elliott Obermaier.
Obermaier, an IU freshman, heard about the event through a friend in Oxfam Club. When offered to play at Oxjam, Obermaier said yes because he believes in what it supports, and he said he thinks they do a great job of increasing awareness of Bloomington issues.
“It’s pretty easy to get in the bubble of IU,” Obermaier said. “But IU is a subsect of Bloomington, and I think it’s important that students look at Bloomington on a level that extends beyond IU.”
Obermaier usually plays in a band and said he doesn’t normally sing or play solos. But he said it will be a neat experience to play individually. He plans on playing “All Along the Watchtower” by Bob Dylan along with a couple of original songs on his acoustic guitar.
Herbertz said she hopes the event helps them reach their fundraising goal. She also said she hopes the event gives the club more exposure because they only have around 10 members right now.
“We’re really looking to expand membership next year especially because of several people graduating in 2020,” Herbertz said.
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