Las Cruces, NM – All proceeds from the event will benefit Casa de Peregrinos, a local emergency food program.
According to Casa de Peregrinos Executive Director Lorenzo Alba, the program fed near ten thousand families in 2009 and the need and demand are only growing. He says the organization distributes between 15 and 21 tons of food a week.
Alba-" -"I know this community always steps up for these things and I have been very impressed since I got here for how the community steps up for these events. We are in an economic crisis, but to see this kind of need to this degree is a little bit mind boggling to be honest."
La Sociedad Para Las Artes is the NMSU English Department's main outreach branch and consists of faculty and graduate students promoting art on and off campus. The benefit is in its 18th year and has raised close to $65,000 for the charity over the years.
This year's event will feature poetry readings by Juliana Spahr who is the author of several award winning poetry collections. Other featured reading will include editor and local poet Sheila Black, author Jim Ferris and Lisa Gill.
There will also be a silent auction with several donations from throughout the community, musical performances, a carnival and chili cook-off.
La Sociedad Assistant Student Coodinator Floydd Michael Elliot says the goal of the event is to help local charity and to raise awareness about the art scene in Las Cruces.
Elliot-"I think the most important is to raise awareness that there are artists in the community and they give back. We try to do things outside of just creating our art. I have found that the majority of items that come to us to be sold at the silent auction are from artists. They are from people from people you may never have heard of or small local businesses. It's these people that bring us together as a community."
The benefit is Friday at six in the evening at the Beverly Hills Hall in Las Cruces. Doors open at five fo the silent auction. Tickets will be sold at the door and advance tickets can be purchased the English Department Office on the NMSU campus. For more information call 646-3931.