Empower organizes Kiva Koncert

 

On Friday, Nov. 2, the Hamilton Room played host to a concert benefiting Kiva, a charity organization that deals in micro lending.

The Kiva Koncert was the brainchild of Senior Cody Sheehy. He is the president of Empower, the UW-Whitewater beneficiary for Kiva.

Donations given at the event aided people in Third World countries who are trying to start a business. The money lent will later be returned, with interest, and the donator will then choose to donate to someone else.

Kiva was founded in 2005 by Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley, and has since donated over $300 million in loans from almost 800,000 lenders.  Kiva boasts a 99 percent repayment rate.

Sheehy

“There’s the saying,‘You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day; you teach a man to fish and you can feed him for a lifetime,” Sheehy said. “We like to say, ‘he already knows how to fish, he just needs to buy the boat.’”

Sheehy and a group of his classmates organized the event for a class project.

The band, Titan Fun Key, which is comprised of UW-Whitewater professors, opened the show.

“The faculty sponsor of Empower is one of my colleagues, and we talked about it and she asked us to play,” Assistant Professor Akiko Yoshida, bassist for Titan Fun Key, said. “I’m very familiar with the micro loan program.  It’s a good organization to raise money, and be able to loan to people to start their own business and become economically independent.”

The equipment that assistant Professor Robert Boostrom, Jr., guitarist for Titan Fun Key, used at the concert was manufactured by Renwig at UW-Whitewater’s Innovation Center.  It was only the third time the equipment was used.

“Kiva is an empowering program because it’s not just giving money, people who lend money would have to return it with interest,” Yoshida said.

Titan Fun Key performed mostly 70s classic rock, such as AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,“ The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” and Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.”

The punk bands, Vinyl Over Wine, The Way Back and The Friend Zone also played.

Vinyl Over Wine

“We’re always down to play shows, and the fact that it’s a benefit for a good cause helps a lot as well,” Jason Friberg, bassist for Vinyl Over Wine, said.

“It’s for a good cause,” Erik Atwell, drummer for Vinyl Over Wine, said.” “Kiva helps out entrepreneurships and businesses in the medical field, so why not donate to them.”

The Siege Perilous closed the show with their unique mix of rock, folk and pop and punk.

“I saw Siege Perilous play, and I thought they were great, and I thought how cool would it be to bring them in, and you charge admission and keep the cost down at the concert, you could make a good amount of money while still having a great event on campus that people can enjoy,” Sheehy said.

Besides music, there were door prizes given in between sets, a table set up by 91.7 The Edge with free merchandise and a Kiva information table explaining exactly what the organization was and how it operated. The event raised $314.

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