Harrisonburg’s First Non-Morose Anti-Death Penalty Event Is This Friday

Capital punishment is hardly a cheery topic, and so it’s somehow fitting that this Friday’s benefit for Virginians For Alternatives To The Death Penalty offers a lighter alternative to your typical straight-faced anti-death penalty event.

The fundraiser, called “Execute Art (Not People),” will begin at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 at Clementine Cafe in downtown Harrisonburg. A fashion show, featuring clothing from nine local designers and two downtown stores, is the evening’s main attraction.

Some comments from VADP President John Sheldon, a belly dancing performance and a closing set by the Harrisonburg band Preacher are also on the program. Throughout the night, a silent auction of donated art and other items will be running, and several artists and a photographer will be making sketches or portraits for the audience.

“It’s a way to be active in this cause without having to sit through a somber movie or something,” said Linell Patterson, a VADP board member from Harrisonburg who organized the event.

VADP is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to educate the public about alternatives to the death penalty. Patterson said more than 50 people have helped to organize the event, which has a fundraising goal of $15,000 for VADP.

Similar groups across the country have hosted like-minded “Execute Art (Not People)” gatherings within the past year.

Tickets for Friday night’s event cost $5 at the door.  For more information, or to become an event sponsor with a larger donation, visit www.firstgiving.com/execute_art.

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