The American NGO NOISE FOR NOW performs a unique work in favor of access to legal abortion and information on reproductive rights. For that, it connects musicians, producers of events to finance grassroots organizations that work for these causes.
The idea of NOISE FOR NOW came after activist Amelia Bauer attended a meeting of Santa Fé NOW (National Organization for Women) at which the issue of annual fundraising came up. for an abortion fund in New Mexico. “Here in New Mexico we are a safe haven for the right to abortion, but we are surrounded by states that have very restrictive prohibitions. The need to travel can put abortion care out of reach for many Americans and these resources can help make the access to possible abortion, providing travel, transportation, accommodation and daycare. I was inspired by this work and knew that I wanted to help with the collection ”, explains Amelia, today president and CEO of NOISE FOR NOW.
She then moved back to New Mexico, her home state, after living in New York for two decades, and asserted her contacts in the music industry. "I looked for some friends to help me organize a charity show and I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming support for the cause."
The first show she organized for NOISE FOR NOW happened in 2017 with her line up Bon Iver , TV on the Radio , Tune-Yards , Lower Dens e Heather Trost , plus an extra show with
Amelia knows that the NGO's work goes far beyond connecting musicians who are passionate about this cause to grassroots organizations that are doing local work. Today, in the USA, abortion is still taboo. “There are so many threats to access to abortion in America. Although abortion is legal at the federal level, states can impose all restrictions on the procedure such as prohibitions that include long waiting periods and limits for abortions up to a maximum of six weeks' gestation (before most women know they are pregnant). pregnant). These prohibitions disproportionately affect non-white people, those living in poverty and those living in rural areas. A right without equal access is not a right ”.
Despite the fact that it is still a controversial issue, Amelia believes that support for the cause goes beyond the opposite opinions. “In addition to the heated debate and some critical comments on social media, we face no opposition. We are also a very small fundraising organization, so we don't have to face the difficulties that some abortion clinics unfortunately face. We are here with the artists we work with to show support for organizations that are on the front lines. Our core is working with musicians, but we also work with a handful of actors and visual artists in our social media campaigns ”.
Part of the NGO's work is based on shows across the US, which has had a huge impact with the Covid-19 pandemic. “As NOISE FOR NOW is still a small organization and, therefore, agile, we were able to adapt quickly”, explains Amelia. "We did some events with live broadcast, but our great success was with targeting campaigns on social networks".
The organization's campaigns have gained support from artists such as Kim Gordon , (Sonic Youth), Waxahatchee , Karen O , Cindy Lauper e Kathleen Hanna , who used their social media to spread the word. “It was a t-shirts for Planned Parenthood and a protective mask campaign with < a href = "https://seedingsovereignty.org/" target = "_ self"> Seeding Sovereignty . It is a simple model; our network of artists uses a customized item (t-shirt, mask, bandana) and makes posts that talk about the work that is being done by various organizations with which we have a partnership and that receive the resulting sales income. We managed to reach a wider audience with these actions. But in all honesty, we can't wait to organize shows when it's safe to do it again. It is a feeling of great hope to gather in a crowd and celebrate the work that our partner organizations are doing. ”
Amelia says that although the organization operates only in the United States, the model can be replicated anywhere else: “We would love to see versions of what we do appearing around the world. The fight for Reproductive Justice is not exclusive to this country. We are simply connecting musicians who are passionate about this cause to grassroots organizations that are doing the work on the spot. ”