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Chart-topping musicians provide beacon of hope to African AIDS crisis


Jars of Clay, The Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble and others to perform fund-raising concert April 16 in downtown Durham, NC

DURHAM, NC – A Saturday afternoon listening to chart-topping musicians and local artists in downtown Durham will provide a beacon of hope to women and orphans affected by the AIDS crisis in Nairobi, Kenya.

The event, coined the Carolina Hope Festival, will unite a diverse group of artists and musicians for a common goal – to raise money in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Jars of Clay, a multi-platinum Dove and Grammy award winning band, will headline the April 16 concert, and will be joined by The Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble, Thad Cockrell, SpencerAcuff, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken and other artists dedicated to the cause. In addition to music, there will also be art displays, ethnic and local food and children’s activities. The event will take place at the American Tobacco Amphitheater in downtown Durham beginning at noon.

Proceeds will benefit Beacon of Hope, a non-profit Nairobi-based organization founded in 2001 to provide women and orphaned children with opportunities for a future. Women from poor communities learn skills that will provide an income. They are also assisted medically, legally and economically.

Jars of Clay lead vocalist Dan Haseltine said the band is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the event. “Through the Carolina Hope Festival we are partnering with a highly effective organization working in areas devastated by AIDS.”

Performers will also discuss the AIDS crisis in further detail at a lunch symposium at 12:30 p.m. in Bay 7 of the Amphitheater. Tickets for the luncheon are $15.

Dr. James Thomas of Beacon USA, and professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, said the magnitude of the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa rivals the effects of the bubonic plague on Europe in the Middle Ages. "In some countries one third of the adult population is infected. A supreme test for the west is finding ways to respond in the midst of such suffering.”

Tickets prices are $24 in advance,$29 at the gate, groups of 10 or more,$19, children 6-12 $14, children under 6 free. Tickets are online at or 1-800-965-9324.


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