Portland, OR Musicians Band Together to Benefit Youth
CD compilation “Safe Haven” features Portland’s finest musicians.
Sarah Dougher’s independent recording label, Cherchez La Femme, brings you the Safe Haven for SMYRC compilation CD to benefit the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC). The CD features both national and local acts such as the INDIGO GIRLS, THE DECEMBERISTS, and PINK MARTINI who donated their songs to support this unique and crucial program for the Portland area’s sexual minority youth (those who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gendered, and Questioning).
“I feel when a musician chooses to make their life ‘public’, that person immediately has a social responsibility to use their visibility for change,” said The Decemberists’ band member Chris Funk. “By including ourselves on this CD, my band has chosen to stand up for an organization that is crucial for our city's children and young adults.”
Funk, and other artists, went beyond contributing music to the project by helping to design cover art, publicize the CD and coordinate events.
Since 1998 SMYRC has provided a haven for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gendered, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The CD brings together a diversity of artists including well-known local acts Ashleigh Flynn and Sneakin’ Out, now-defunct electro pop stars Le Tigre, folksy spoken word hero Alix Olson, internationally known post-lounge band Pink Martini, Northwest rock giants The Decemberists, and classic lesbian duo Indigo Girls. Safe Haven also features a track by Sleater-Kinney, which gives this post-breakup CD the distinction of being one of the band’s (and Le Tigre’s) final releases.
“I’m 19 and have been attending SMYRC for three years,” says one SMYRC youth. “SMYRC is important to me because in all honesty it has saved my life. It’s given me a safe place where I can go and not have to worry about people calling me names or telling me that who I am is wrong.”
At SMYRC, queer youth under the age of 24 can sink their teeth into expressing creatively through art, writing about their life experiences, learning how to cook healthy food, becoming a leader, and various activities that give them a chance to support each other, learn from mentors and find a sense of belonging.
More information about SMYRC can be found online at www.smyrc.org. For more information about the CD, its release and events, please also visit www.cherchezlafemmeprojects.com.