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Support The Carpenter Ants' Cultural Exchange to Slovakia

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It seems that our pal Will Carter is in the lead to win a complimentary Carpenter Ants house party show...
But don't fret, there's still time to throw your old (or new) hat in the ring!

The Story
Since 2016, The Carpenter Ants have been a key component of a cultural exchange program - ambassadors of sorts - between Charleston (WV) and its Slovak sister city, Banska Bystrika. Six visits have taken us to cities and to villages playing festivals, culture centers, camps, churches and pubs. This August, we will again make the trip with a full schedule of shows, a big part of which always involves sharing the culture and music of West Virginia and Appalachia.

We have always made a point of playing shows for the Roma community and the past two trips have included shows for refugees from the Ukraine.

These trips have all been essentially self-funded with various levels of support from The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Sister City groups in Charleston and Banska Bystrika, the Rotary Clubs in Charleston and Banska Bystrika, and the cities of Banska Bystrika Charleston.

This year, the grants that would have covered airfare ($6,400), lodging and ground transport (approx $3,500) did not come through - so we are scrambling to cover expenses.

We are hoping to raise $9,750 that would exclusively cover out-of-pocket expenses. None of the funds will be used to pay musicians.

Any amount you care to contribute will be greatly appreciated.

***

Background

The Carpenter Ants have been a working band for 40 years. Our lineup had been the same since the late 1980s: Michael Lipton, Jupie Little, Ted Harrison and Charlie Tee. In December, 2021, Charlie Tee passed away from complications related to COVID. We were fortunate to be able to welcome Mark Bates into the fold, a friend, fine musician and kindred soul. And the band played on...

In addition to the joy we all get from playing music (as the joke goes, it’s cheaper than therapy), our goal has always been to give back to the state we love and the community in which we live.

Over those past four decades we have played more than 4,000 shows ranging from opening for major acts to “intimate” venues that barely require a PA - and about everything in between.

But for us, it’s been just as important to support causes and people who are near and dear to our hearts. As such, we have played scores of benefits and fundrasiers for many, many causes, both social and political as well as funerals, wakes and special occasions for many of our friends.

We’ve also been fortunate enough to be able to travel to many places in the U.S. and overseas. Tours of Moscow in the early/mid-1990s had a profound impact on our lives - both musical and otherwise.

In 2016, we traveled to Banska Bystrika for the first of six collaborations with Charleston’s sister city. Through those visits, we have made many friends and have shared West Virginia’s culture and music with all manners of audiences.

While each trip has included different venues and locales, they have all been unforgettable experiences. But make no mistake, there is a lot of work involved. We perform nearly every day and, at many venues, set up and configure our own sound. Whenever possible we stay with friends which adds more meaning and depth to the trips.

One thing we have learned from our trips abroad is that we, as people, share the same wants, hopes and dreams. And that music will always be something that brings people together which, given the current state of the world, is more important than ever.
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Donations 

  • Patricia Hamilton
    • $75 
    • 4 d
  • Debra Hamilton
    • $201 
    • 4 d
  • Barbara Steinke
    • $50 
    • 5 d
  • joan myers
    • $10 
    • 6 d
  • Csilla Droppova
    • $100 
    • 14 d
Donate

Organizer

michael lipton
Organizer
Charleston, WV

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