Enlace Project raises money, links entertainment, cultural appreciation

As part of a fundraiser for their organization, Enlace Project Geneseo held a benefit concert in the Knight Spot on Friday Dec. 4. Founded by Kellan Morgan ‘06, Enlace Project Geneseo is a small group working with a non-profit organization in Nicaragua. “[The Enlace Project does] a lot of awesome things in Nicaragua,” Enlace president senior Summer Stratton said. “They teach English to people [and] they have English classes like business development classes so … they give opportunities to people in Nicaragua.”

Stratton was one of the many students in Enlace Project Geneseo who studied abroad in Nicaragua. She took a comparative sustainability class in the summer of 2014 and she joined the Enlace club on campus when she returned.

As part of other fundraisers, the club sells homemade pine needle baskets in the MacVittie College Union. The club will also hold an annual dinner next semester with food from Nicaragua to raise additional money for their cause.

The night was a combination of talent and culture, as the performances and activities ranged in genre. The first to perform was senior Sean Delles of the Geneseo band Donner Dance Party. In an improvisational form, he created an interesting remix of bass and drum beats mixed with beat boxing.

Adjunct professor of English Glenn McClure also made an appearance, singing three Spanish songs. He offered an interactive performance as he invited attendees to sing along with him in Spanish for songs like “Maria Isabel,” “Quanta la Mera” and an original song that he wrote last summer: “Somos Hermanos.” The latter is about his onstage experience with famous Nicaraguan singer Carlos Mejia Godoy.

A cappella group Emmelodics followed McClure, singing a clever mashup of of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” They also performed Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave.”

The Slainte Irish Dance Ensemble followed the singing group. Their first performance was an articulate and uniform dance to a Celtic song. Their second dance was an a cappella Irish step dance. Each dancer wore hard shoes as they rhythmically danced in synch with one another.

To close the night, Geneseo student and singer junior Ariel Piazza—known by her stage name Gypsy Freight—performed a few relaxed pieces. One song was a stripped down rendition of two of her original songs, which she performed while playing the ukulele and guitar. Her last song was a soothing cover of Daughter’s “Peter.”

At the performance, henna tattoos, hair wraps and the pine needle baskets were for sale. All the proceeds of the night went to the Enlace Project in Nicaragua, so everyone involved—both members and guests—were able to contribute to the cause.

During his performance, McClure emphasized the idea of making the world a better place. His original song involved meaningful lyrics of coming together for one goal. “We are brothers and sisters of America. We share a history that is unique among all of us and that has certainly driven our work in Enlace,” McClure said.

This cultural unity was highlighted through the club’s use of different performers and sources of entertainment. Attendees at the Enlace Benefit Concert were able to appreciate local and international art and, whether or not they were involved in the organization, their proceeds and attendance helped to support a great cause.