Norman nonprofit plans fund-raising show at The Deli 

College-aged crowds might not be the best target market for large-scale fund-raising efforts, but East Main Place executive director Christy Blair sees a wealth of volunteer manpower when she visits venues throughout Norman.

The Rhythms for Refuge annual fund-raiser for East Main Place was designed to target that youthful vitality. The 9 p.m. Friday show at The Deli, 309 White in Norman features The Gunship, Camille Harp and Resident Funk.

"This event is not so much about raising money than about spreading awareness and showing that you can have a good time and make a difference at the same time," Blair said.

SHORT-TERM HOUSING
East Main Place, 1100 E. Main, offers short-term housing to about 90 homeless people each year, she said. All residents must find a job within a month and permanent housing within a year. In return, residents receive career and family counseling, and get to keep the amenities from their room, such as furniture, dishes, sheets and other necessities to help them create a new home.

Blair said the effort to plug into the local arts and music scenes was boosted when Sandra D. Hamilton of the Oh Johnny! Girls joined the East Main staff. After Hamilton moved to Austin, Texas, Cory Allen of the Norman's Vacant Era Film Festival stepped in as volunteer and donation coordinator and has kept the connection alive.

"In my life, when I have experienced tragedy, it has been art that pulled me back into life," Blair said. "In times of crisis, we turn to music, to the pictures we love. Art is like the blood in our veins, it's a gift that we have that I would like to continue tapping into it for this program."

Tickets to the concert fund-raiser are $5. For more information, call 447-4663.  "Charles Martin

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