Arcade Fire talks about philanthropy at UT

Our Austin correspondent Lily Angelle attended a special lecture last night entitled “Hope, Haiti & Service,” where members of the band Arcade Fire spoke to University of Texas students about advocacy and volunteerism and urged them to get involved with relief efforts in earthquake-stricken Haiti.

Members of Arcade Fire perform at the University of Texas.

Arcade Fire members Win and Will Butler, Régine Chassagne and Marika Anthony-Shaw talked about the group’s work with Partners in Health since 2007 to provide health care for people in Haiti. Win Butler said the band has donated more than $500,000 over the past four years and $1 from every concert ticket goes to the charity.

However, Win Butler cautioned that philanthropy is not just writing a check and sending it off – one also needs to make sure the money is going to the proper efforts.

“If the question of ‘is this useful’ isn’t coming up, then you’re doing something wrong,” he said. “If I donate a bunch of money and people end up going out and painting some schools when there’s massive unemployment, I’d be concerned.”

Some attendees grew impatient with the talk and walked out before the lecture was over. So partly to “put it in the faces” of those people, as Win said, the musicians produced a couple acoustic guitars and performed two songs from their 2004 debut album Funeral: “Haiti” and “Wake Up.”

Video by johnrsull29

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