Sanctuary Sessions raise money for ACLU

Local musicians perform for a cause at the Newes.

A group of musicians performed at the Newes in Edgartown on Sunday evening for a fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The event was free, and guests were encouraged to donate to the ACLU.

Musicians Mary Wolverton, Avi Lev, Myles Thurlow, Tauras Biskis, Irene Hungerford, Suzie Bowman, Mary Sossong, Maya O’Neill, Griffin McMahon, Sean McMahon, and Rosemary Caine played for more than two hours to a packed house. The performance raised $525, which will be donated to the ACLU.

“I thought that was pretty good for being off-season and vacation week,” Ms. Wolverton said. “Myles, Torres, and I used to play weekly sessions at Offshore. The last time we played together was St. Patrick’s Day last year, so it was fun for us to get together again and play tunes. It was nice to have all the other people join in, and most of the fiddle players were my students.”

The event was organized by Ms. Wolverton, who was contacted about it by Knowles Scott, a musician and friend in Boston. Mr. Scott, who immigrated from Ireland, organized the original event in Boston because he felt compelled to create a space for people to come together, enjoy music, and support civil liberties. He shared his idea with a network of musicians around the country, and it took off and spread to New York; Boston; Portland, Maine; Portland, Ore.; Virginia; California; and Dublin, among other places.

“I didn’t go to the march in D.C.,” Ms. Wolverton said, “but I felt like I wanted to do something to support the feeling of making a statement about civil rights and people’s individual rights. This is my way of being able to do something here locally without traveling.”

Boston raised $5,130, New York $4,500, Philadelphia $3,000, Chicago $2,430, and Cincinnati $3,091.