PGH Fights for Freedom From Fracking

Published On May 12, 2015 | By Leah Kennedy | Community
freedomfromfracking

Photo Cred: Friends of the Harmed

In just a few short years, Pennsylvania quickly became a hub for the gas drilling industry, and many towns have succumbed to its controversial practices. A brief synopsis of hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as “fracking,” generally entails a drill-and-blast technique used to extract gas from deep within the underground shale. And although the operations have created many jobs and stimulated our economy, they also pose several risks. The process, along with its aftermath, has caused issues among several residential neighborhoods within close proximity to the drilling sites; and for this reason, Pittsburgh community members have come together to form Freedom From Fracking: Clean Air, Water & Energy.

Freedom From Fracking takes the form of a community gathering, featuring performing music artists and guest speakers that will aim to educate the community on environmentally friendly alternatives to fracking. Additionally, several Green Energy organizations will be onsite to educate guests about green energy initiatives and help them get on board. All proceeds will benefit Shalefield Stories, a project of Friends of the Harmed, which will assist families who’ve suffered both long and short term health effects from the operations.

Rusted Root

Rusted Root

The event also features a highly curated artist lineup, as many of the participating individuals are actively involved with the movement and message that festival organizers are striving to uphold. The festival will present 14 acts across three separate stages, with local favorites, Rusted Root, headlining the event in honor of their 25th anniversary.

Read up on a few noteable acts below:

Mike Stout & The Human Union

Mike is a local singer/songwriter, as well as a community activist. His passion for environmental issues led him to spearhead Freedom From Fracking and share the movement among other artists. The rocker has had an extensive career, releasing 15 CDs and performing in 8 countries over the past 25 years. He incorporates themes of justice, freedom, and equality into his music, making him the perfect fit as a headlining act.

Kellee Maize

Kellee Maize

Kellee Maize & Friends

Kellee Maize, a local rapper/singer and activist with a strong online media presence, has released six albums thus far, often covering topics like environmentalism, freedom, equality, feminism and spirituality. Kellee has also been a key component in helping to organize and plan Freedom From Fracking. Catch her among other local artists and dancers as she shares the stage with them during her performance.

Vanessa German

Artist and poet Vanessa German is often recognized for her visual and performance art pieces, as well as her philanthropic past. Her recent community art project, Love Front Porch, aims to put an end to violence and engage children in a positive environment – by making art on her front porch.

Vanessa German

Vanessa German

Check out a full list of performing artists at Freedom From Fracking.

The evening kicks off at 6PM on Saturday, May 16 at Mr. Smalls TheatreTickets ($30) are on sale now, and will also be available at the door ($35).

 

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