Submitted by Joe Augustin
Late in the summer of 2013, Kevin Milner of Dayton, Ohio and Joe Augustin of Richmond, Indiana began discussing plans to start a charitable humanist organization called SoNA, which is short for Society of Neutral Angels. At its root, SoNA is a loose affiliation of songwriters and their friends, who organize music events to raise awareness and collect donations for various charitable causes. Check out SoNA’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
Although SoNA has no official membership roster (apart from Joe and Kevin), a large number of loyal songwriters and their friends repeatedly volunteer their time and other resources to make sure events run smoothly. Of course, the group is always on the lookout for new people who want to get involved, too.
Songwriters’ Solstice, benefiting Foodbank Dayton, was the very first SoNA event, back in December 2013, and featured 28 songwriters at Ghostlight Coffee over the course of two days. 466 pounds of non-perishable food donations were collected for the foodbank, in addition to cash donations received at the door.
Kevin and Joe were so moved by the generous show of support from the Dayton community that they decided to start working on new projects right away. The following April, SoNA hosted Heartstrings, a 3-month musical instrument drive for Boys & Girls Club of Dayton which ended with a 14-songwriter event at World BBQ in Dayton. That September, Songs of Freedom at Dayton Courthouse Square gathered 24 music acts to raise money and awareness for BE FREE Dayton, a group that combats human trafficking in the Miami Valley. Then, in December, SoNA pulled its 2nd annual Songwriters’ Solstice. In March 2015, SoNA’s 6-songwriter Tiny Desk Concert at The Collaboratory collected school supplies donations for Crayons To Classrooms.
Solstice In Richmond Dec 12 & 13 at New Boswell Brewery
Now, Kevin, Joe and their generous friends are preparing for the 3rd annual Songwriters’ Solstice event. This year, however, SoNA is upping the ante and putting on TWO two-day Songwriters’ Solstice foodbank events: one in Dayton, OH and one in Richmond, IN. Each event features 30+ artists from the around region, many of whom will travel from two hours away or more.
The Richmond event, co-sponsored by SoNA and Lyricists’ Corner, is first, on SAT & SUN, DEC 12 & 13 at New Boswell Brewery & Tap Room, from 4PM-Midnight. See the event page for current lineup and other details:
The Dayton event is SAT & SUN, DEC 19 & 20 at Ghostlight Coffee, from 3PM-9PM. See the event page for current lineup and other details:
Karole Passmore is a freelance writer who enjoys writing articles and short stories, interviewing local people, and researching non-fiction subject matter– preferably historical. Graduate of RHS, Ivy Tech Richmond, and Earlham College– with a major in History, Karole has spent most of her life in Wayne County and enjoys the quaint atmosphere of a small town.
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