Local musicians will celebrate 50th anniversary of Woodstock with benefit concert

Local musicians will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock on Saturday with a benefit concert to support a State College nonprofit.

The inaugural Acres of Music: the Music of Woodstock event aims to raise awareness and funds for the Acres Project, an organization that describes itself as “a growing community designed by adults with autism for adults with autism,” according to its website.

To help make it a night to remember, some of the Centre County music scene’s most beloved acts are on the bill, including Cone of Silence, Eric Ian Farmer, Anchor and Arrow, Hops & Vines, Sam Christensen, The Skoal Brothers, and Spider Kelly. Jason Brown will be the MC, and tickets are $28.

Pianist Liz Grove and super bass player extraordinaire bandmate James Miller are the co-producers and are also members of Cone of Silence.

“There are so many talented local musicians,” Grove wrote in an email. “But, when we looked at the original Woodstock set lists, it wasn’t hard to figure out who would be a good fit.”

The Acres Project was started in 2014 to provide support and services for young adults with autism who are transitioning from student to professional roles. In 2016, it moved to a group home in rural Patton Township that includes a two-acre greenspace. This enabled Acres to greatly expand their services to include programs such as workplace readiness training, independent living skills, a college support program, and a monthly parent support group.

For Grove, doing a fundraiser for Acres was an easy choice.

“We went out to the Acres house and saw what a great program they had,” Grove wrote. “They are a great group of people and they love live music. We felt that the community needed to know more about them. Besides the money that will be raised, we hope to raise awareness of their organization.”

Mary Krupa is an advocate for Acres, and is also someone who has benefited from Acres’ services.

“Acres has given me not only employment, but a new group of friends and a second home,” Krupa wrote in an email. “There’s truly nothing else like it.”

Before the show, visitors are invited to check out “groovy crafts” in The State Theatre lobby and browse handcrafted soaps and unique artwork created by local artists on the autism spectrum.

“The Acres Project is almost entirely funded by private donations,” Krupa said, “so every little bit helps.”

The concert will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at The State Theatre. Visit http://thestatetheatre.org/acres-of-music-the-music-of-woodstock/ for ticket information or https://acresproject.org/acres-of-music-the-music-of-woodstock. There will be a 5 p.m. ticketed pre-concert reception at 3 Dots Downtown.

Kevin Briggs is a musician, writer and teacher who performs at venues throughout central Pennsylvania. Contact him at KevinTBriggs@gmail.com.