Coffee and music will lead the way for Project Merge’s first Notes N Joe Benefit Concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Shore Art Gallery.
Project Merge is a student-led home renovation project that serves Abilene families in need of significant home improvements. Its website describes the organization as “ACU’s very own Extreme Home Makeover.” The organization started with interior design students in the Department of Art and Design who decided to use their design skills and care for the community to help disadvantaged families in town. Now in its third year of work, Project Merge is in the process of choosing a family to begin working with.
The benefit concert will feature musical performances by The Dogwoods, Sunset at Ivry, Wes Robbins and Jake Rosser. Big Country Coffee Co. will sponsor the event and provide the coffee. Admission is $7.
Gracie Ferreyro, senior art major from San Antonio, said the idea for the event came when Project Merge members were deciding on the theme of their upcoming fundraiser.
“We didn’t want to do anything too ‘the same’ or similar to other fundraisers people are used to,” Ferreyro said. “So we came up with coffee and music, or ‘notes and joe,’ to give students something different to look forward to.”
Ferreyro is heading the current leadership team working on the event along with fellow Project Merge members Meredith Speight senior interior design major from Grand Rapids, Mo. and Alyssa Stanley senior interior design major from Dallas, who hope to make the concert an annual fundraiser to help their cause. Right now the main obstacle the group faces is raising awareness of their work and getting the help they need, they said.
“It’s kind of a gamble on attendance right now. We’re trying to get the word out. We’re expecting maybe one-hundred to one-hundred and fifty people, but we’d love to get as many as we can,” Ferreyro said.
The bands and performers providing the live music at the concert are all ACU students. Speight said the event’s atmosphere will be as close as possible to that of a coffee shop. She said a big factor in the theme was the understanding that the semester is reaching a busy point for most students. Notes N Joe will provide students with a relaxed, laid-back place to hang out with friends and listen to music.
“With the local ACU talent and coffee provided by Big Country Coffee Co., we believe that it’s going to be attractive to most of the student body,” Speight said. “I think the most exciting thing about Notes and Joe is our incredibly talented performers. They have been excellent in helping us make this concert possible and I personally cannot wait to see what they have planned.”