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Sept. 18 - A-Town Get Down announces $5,000 donation to Loop It Up Savannah

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 18, 2019 - A-Town Get Down recently announced the donation of $5,000 to Loop It Up Savannah as a result of the A-Town MiniFest held in June 2019. In lieu of a festival, this year’s event was a celebration and fundraiser for future A-Town festivals and continued financial support of local community partners. 

Held on June 29 at the American Legion Ballroom, the evening saw over 200 A-Town friends and family gather together for one evening of live music, live art, food and a silent auction. Attendees enjoyed blues, rock and jazz from A-Town alumni performers Missionary Blues and Walter Parks as well as special guest performances by A-Town founder Tom Townsend. The A-Town ArtPort Shuffle brought together Savannah artists Melinda Borysevicz, Betsy Cain, AJ Perez, Dana Richardson, and Mary Hartman to create a collaborative panel which was later auctioned. In addition, the A-Town tradition of the Gesture Jam took place with famed local drawing artists Henry Dean, Laura Wolf, Rob Hessler, Jared Seff, Tiffany Nunes, and more. 

The MiniFest was held in lieu of the typical A-Town all-day and evening festival after founder and producer Tom Townsend was involved in an attempted carjacking and tragically shot in the neck near his home in St. Louis, Missouri. With a talented and dedicated team of doctors, Tom’s life was saved but he suffered severe damage to his jaw. Through several surgeries and continued rehabilitation, Tom is on his way to recovery. 

In order to keep A-Town present and continue its mission, Tom wanted to acknowledge the support of his friends, family and community both in St. Louis and Savannah. 

“It was one of the priorities to make sure the Savannah community knew how extraordinary their support was over the following months after the incident. The love and support we have experienced is one of the shining examples of why Alex loved it so much and why we will always try to give back to those who gave so much to us.” 

He continued by saying, “It was one of the best nights of our lives being able to create music, support the community and be amongst the family of friends formed over the past decade. It was truly a touching evening.” 

At the end of the evening,Townsend told the A-Town crowd, ‘While we are calling this a MiniFest, it’s the best A-Town I’ve ever experienced. Thank you all.” 

It is because of the arduous recovery ahead that the Townsends along with the Alex Townsend Memorial Foundation decided to postpone the 2019 A-Town Get Down Festival. However, with the help of community supporters, sponsors and friends, the fundraiser was able to raise over $8,000 to support local partners and help future A-Town endeavors. A-Town’s annual education partner Loop It Up Savannah was given $5,000 to help keep after school art programs going throughout the year. 

Molly Lieberman, founder and executive director for Loop It Up Savannah, stated “This donation will make it possible for us to bring more art experiences to young people throughout Savannah. We are honored to work with the Townsend family, and to continue to honor the legacy of Alex, by making more art than ever before with the youth of Savannah, Georgia.” 

Mike English, Senior Vice President of Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co., a headlining sponsor of A-Town festivals says, “A-Town Get Down has had such a positive impact on the creative community over the years. I have personally experienced some defining moments as a musician and a family man because of the opportunities the festival brings to Savannah. During a much-needed recovery period for the Townsends we, in collaboration with W Projects, were able to produce an event and fundraiser in A-Town’s name in order to show the Townsends and the foundation that Savannah appreciates all they have done for us.” 

A-Town Get Down Festival is an annual event which helps establish and remind the community that arts education, community involvement and partnerships are an intrinsic component of the healthy development and growth of a city. The 2020 A-Town Get Down Festival dates will be announced in the Fall of 2019. 


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