Conscious Party: “Powering the People” benefit concert for Isaac Dickson Elementary

ELECTRIC ENERGY: Local band Franklin's Kite performs at an event at Highland Brewing. On June 17, the band will be holding a benefit concert to raise funds for the Isaac Dickson solar project. Photo by Beth Smith

WHAT: A concert to benefit Isaac Dickson Elementary School

WHEN: Saturday, June 17, 7-11 p.m.

WHERE: Altamont Theatre

WHY: Community members have come together to demand power over their power supply: Parents and community members will hold a benefit concert at the Altamont Theatre Saturday to raise money for Isaac Dickson Elementary School’s new solar power system.

By installing the solar system, Isaac Dickson will become one of the Southeast’s first net-zero energy schools, says Cari Barcas, community engagement director of WNC Green Building Council. Currently, the majority of the project’s $1.1 million cost is covered by private investors, and local nonprofit Appalachian Offsets is raising the remaining funds. With the help of an anonymous donor pledging a matching grant of $110,000 to Appalachian Offsets and recent project contributions, community members need to raise the final $103,000, Barcas says.

The benefit concert will feature live music by Franklin’s Kite, a local band led by Sundance Power Systems CEO Dave Hollister. Sundance Power won the contract to install the solar panels at Isaac Dickson once the money is raised, says Hollister.

“I’m excited that there’s this energy and inspiration,” Hollister says. “The lightning struck the parents of Isaac Dickson Elementary, and the energy comes from that community. This hasn’t happened before — we all need to take note of this. I see Isaac Dickson as a real example of people standing up and telling public leaders what we want to do to promote clean energy in our community — it will be a huge statement to local politicians if we do this.”

The benefit concert will be held on June 17 from 7-11 p.m. Tickets are available online and at the door, $10 apiece.


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About Molly Horak
Molly Horak served as a reporter at Mountain Xpress. Follow me @molly_horak

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