Willowell to celebrate Ethiopian food and music at benefit night for AIDS outreach group

LINCOLN — One Love AIDS HIV Awareness Theater is a theater troupe in Hawassa, Ethiopia, which performs shows about AIDS and gender equality in rural towns in Southern Ethiopia. To raise funds for One Love Theater, the Willowell Foundation will host an evening of  music, dancing, crafts and food at its Ethiopian Boogie Benefit on Saturday, Sept. 30. The party will be held at Burnham Hall, 52 East River Road in Lincoln. The event, which will run from 7-10:30 p.m., features the New Nile Orchestra, billed as “New England’s Finest Ethiopian Funk.”
The program will also feature Ethiopian food prepared by local Ethiopian chefs, and arts and crafts recently brought back from Ethiopia, which will be on sale at the event. All proceeds will benefit  One Love Theater.
One Love Theater was founded by street children in Hawassa Ethiopia in 1998. Now in it’s 19th year, OLT has performed for hundreds of thousands of people throughout Ethiopia and in UN refugee camps. Aside from performances OLT offers theater, gymnastics, visual arts and music classes at no cost to children in Hawassa, and each year recruits promising performers to join its touring company.
Many auxiliary programs have grown from OLT, including the Vermont Ethiopia Teacher Exchange, sponsored by the Willowell Foundation and Castleton State University, and Long Live the Girls, a writing program for girls in Ethiopia sponsored by Break Arts, an organization based in Chicago.
The New Nile Orchestra has been performing their high-energy brand of world music for more than 20 years across New England. Singer/dancer Kiflu Kidane and his band create infectious rhythms that, combined with Kidane’s remarkable dancing and singing, inspire even the most committed wall flower to get up and dance.
Tickets — adults $10/kids under 12 free. Food: adults $10/kids $5 — will be available at the door. For more information and to RSVP, please visit willowell.org, email [email protected] or call 802-453-6195.

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