Exciting Year-End Update for 2022
Published on December 12, 2022 by Stephen Saloom
2022 has been a pivotal year for Concerts for Indigent Defense, both substantively and operationally.
In partnership with the National Association for Public Defense, we’ve become the centerpiece of this year’s nationwide celebration of “Gideon’s 60th” on Saturday, March 18, 2023. And operationally, we’re also now fiscally sponsored as a 501(c)3 entity by Open Collective, whom we thank along with all of our supporters.
Being supported by their organizational structure both enabled and nudged us to operate this substantively important in ways that have strengthened our organizational approaches to the work – including being able to solicit tax-deductible, charitable contributions.
As you know, Concerts for Indigent Defense leverages the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright to draw public attention, energize our supporters, and secure a foothold for improvements to ensure that judges can properly hear and consider a poor person’s defense against a criminal accusation, even when that person can’t afford a lawyer of their own.
With the extraordinary and fleeting opportunity of Gideon’s 60th anniversary – combined with this fiscal sponsorship - we’re seeking to catalyze our pivotal potential into locally-driven, nationwide impacts for criminal justice reform this March – in ways that will enable us to have perpetual impacts for years to come.
While you can read the full update below, you can sign up for updates here, provide a tax-deductible contribution here, visit the website here, and of course keep reading along for the full story!
Thanks so much,
P.S. Please feel free to share this with friends - or even foundations and donors focused on arts and justice - whom you think might also be interested in our work!
- A central role for Concerts for Indigent Defense in the National Association for Public Defense’s nationwide “Gideon’s 60th” celebration, the weekend of March 18, 2023
- Concerts for Indigent Defense in active development in with defenders and musicians in Houston (and across Texas), New Orleans, Brooklyn, Denver, Albuquerque, Bridgeport CT, and Boston
- More Concerts to be planned through systematic grassroots outreach with NAPD’s 26,000 members nationwide
- Secured 501(c)3 fiscal sponsorship through Open Collective, enabling us to receive tax-deductible donations while providing a strong operational base of operations.
A Pivotal Year Ahead
March 18, 2023 is the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Gideon v. Wainwright. It’s an extraordinary – yet fleeting – opportunity to draw nationwide public attention to the constitutional right to counsel. This will build power to improve upon state and local governments’ shamefully weak enforcement of poor people’s right to counsel in criminal courtrooms across the country, every single day.
This year, we are working in official partnership a national organization to seize upon a once-in-a-decade newsworthy moment. The National Association for Public Defense has long cheered our efforts, and soon after Concerts for Indigent Defense presented its 2022 Omicron-NAPD invited us to collaborate with them for a major nationwide celebration of Gideon’s 60th, to feature live concerts in partnership with local defender offices, in cities and states across the country.
With many more local Concerts in the works, we already have major Concerts for Indigent Defense planned in Houston (and across Texas), New Orleans, Brooklyn, Denver, Albuquerque, Bridgeport CT, and Boston, with more promised and yet more to be developed…
Working with local defender offices and other justice advocates, these shows will enable television, radio, print, and social media coverage in each city about the constitutional right itself; the musicians involved; local improvements needed to respect this constitutional right; and personal stories and cascading negative impacts that flow on poor people, their families, and communities when this constitutional right is not respected.
Together, these shows create a nationwide platform for media and public attention, which Concerts for Indigent Defense will itself pursue.
Given our history, it’s clear that the successful nationwide rollout of Concerts for Indigent Defense for Gideon’s 60th will enable future Concerts to be readily planned and publicized and provide an annual spark for public attention and support for the constitutional right to counsel.
How Your Support Will Catalyze Gideon’s 60th
Simply put, Concerts for Indigent Defense has always been an unfunded labor of love. Yet this year presents an opportunity that a relatively small amount of funding can catalyze into annual improvements in justice. The following is the baseline budget that will enable us to seize our potential for a major impact this year, in ways that enable the permanent impacts and growth of Concerts for Indigent Defense for years to come.
Website Overhaul: $10,000
Management of Website and Support for Local Concerts: $12,000
Nationwide Publicity: $10,000
Additional support for local partners and the nationwide effort: All additional funds
Our first priority is to improve the website’s functionality and look. Monies beyond that will fund work on the project, and additional monies will be dedicated to catalyzing our local shows into a story that receives nationwide coverage in mainstream, music, legal, and other media. Should we be so fortunate as to raise even more, it will all be invested into the work above, to make this year’s effort stronger at every turn.
As importantly as all of the above, I’m writing to thank you for your past support. This email is only going to people like you, and as you read this I know you’ll recall our past discussions (upon discussions!) about this project. As you know, it’s only been with that support from you – philosophical, participatory, and financial – that Concerts for Indigent Defense has developed to this place. We’re extremely excited to have already developed it to the point where it’s poised to provide a nationwide spark for support of the right to a lawyer, which is at the core of justice – or not – for every poor person accused of a crime in America.
It's been extremely fun, exciting, exhausting, hopeful, important, and more throughout. I deeply appreciate all the support that has gotten us this far and hope you enjoy this year’s rollout regardless!