It’s not often you see a team of sixteen year old students booking the likes of Jimmy Kimmel for a live concert event. But then again, these are not ordinary times.
The challenges of the pandemic have given rise to some spectacular feats, including the booming success of the Concerts 4 Covid initiative. Run by a group of students, this organization has hosted a series of virtual concerts and raised over $25,000 for charity since its launch in May.
Its next concert will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 15 and raise money for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with appearances by Jimmy Kimmel, Hannah Nordberg, Emma Redmon, and Emerald Street. Throughout the event attendees will be encouraged to donate to CHLA and the team hopes to set a new fundraising record.
“We started the organization in early May, after a series of conversations between me and other people at my school being like ‘we are so frustrated right now and feel useless that we can’t go outside and help people’,” said Zoe Burke, Santa Monica resident and Co-Founder of Concerts 4 Covid. “Concerts 4 Covid was born because we all share a love for music, being part of a community, and really wanted to figure out a way we could give back.”
Burke alongside other students at the Marlborough School have so far hosted virtual charity concerts for Feeding America, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The events started with performances from friends, family, and local artists. This includes many Santa Monica based artists such as Lily Kincade, Juliet Pegula, and Wolves. As the concerts grew in success the team has been able to book more established artists and use their fan base to attract more donations.
“One of our biggest challenges has been in gaining credibility because we are a bunch of 16 year olds, but at the same time our work speaks for itself,” said Burke. As the concerts have continued it’s become easier to have incredible talent want to work with us, but we couldn’t do it without our support system, our family, and our friends who are continuously showing up for us.”
Each student has stepped in to contribute something unique to the organization, from discovering new artists, to designing graphics, to finding impactful organizations to partner with. The team includes Ally Rudnick, Lucy Hanna, Sophia Miller, Harrison Anderson, Avery Liu, Gia Cabral, Nate Davis, Charlotte Cox, Shelby Coleman, and Emily Walsh.
“It started out as a summer project and I think it’s kind of modeled after COVID; we don’t know when we are going to end these concerts, but as long as people need help we will keep doing them,” said Burke.
To receive a Zoom link to Sunday’s concert visit the @concerts4covid Instagram account and follow the link in bio.