Experience / Events / “DO NOT FORGET US”: Poets, Writers, Musicians Against the War (s) on the Earth

“DO NOT FORGET US”: Poets, Writers, Musicians Against the War (s) on the Earth

Poet James Lenfestey and musician Tim Frantzich will present their annual benefit featuring words and music dedicated to the victims of wars on Earth. This year, the event pays tribute to the artist-activist legacy of Robert and Ruth Bly, whose inspiring works serve as the foundation for this gathering.

The title of the event is derived from a poignant moment early in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, where a young Minneapolis Ukrainian singer responded to a despairing audience member with the words, “Do not forget us.” Despite a sense of forgetfulness prevailing in some parts of America, the artists participating in this event remain committed to the cause. The proceeds will support the Minneapolis Ukrainian-American Community Center, facilitating the dispatch of crucial medical supplies to Ukraine and aiding Ukrainian refugees, including those in need of prosthetics due to shelling.

Additionally, the performers extend their commitment to Mother Earth, currently facing environmental challenges akin to a fever. The event will also benefit Minneapolis Climate Action, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean energy to every community in Minneapolis.

Participants this year include:

Jamie Andress, Anishinabe Spoken Word artist from Michigan.

James Armstrong, Award-winning poet and naturalist from Winona.

Tim Frantzich, musician, with astrophysicist Mandeep Gill.

Sarina Partridge, Community Song Circle leader.

Robert Robinson, legendary soul singer.

Pierre Fulford, Minneapolis spoken-word artist with musician Abraham Westlund.

Alicia Tovpeko on bandura, the national instrument of Ukraine, with Natalia Peterson, Ukrainian-American vocalist and pianist.

The evening includes a special presentation of poems between sets by unforgettable Robert Bly, recited by Phil Bryant, Mike Hazard, Ezra Hyland, Tim Frantzich, Robert Johnson, Klecko, Jim Lenfestey, Freya Manfred, Dougie Padilla, Joshua Preston, Thomas R. Smith, and Tim Young.