As a volunteer at the Fort Reno Concert Series and the Northwest Youth Alliance for the past three years, I would like to thank the Washington City Paper and Colin Bane for the article “Strictures at an Exhibition” (8/14). The article points out the most obvious weakness with the Fort Reno Concert Series, and America in general: a lack of diversity.

In our defense, please keep two things in mind: 1) The National Park Service does not allow go-go or rap bands at Fort Reno Park. 2) This is a free event.The bands do not get paid; the volunteers do not get paid; no one gets paid except for the sound person.

Which brings up one other point: The Fort Reno Concert Series is organized and run by volunteers. We do not get paid for picking up all the trash left at the park; we do not get paid to stand in the rain telling everyone the show has been canceled; we do not get paid to schedule the series; we do not get paid to paint the stage every time someone vandalizes it; we do not get paid for any of it. Our reward is watching high school kids stand up on stage with their bands and play their first show in front of a live audience. Our reward is providing a smoke-free, clean park in which you can sit with your mom, your kids, your friends, and strangers to watch a free live concert.

I would also like to thank the Washington City Paper for providing us with the opportunity to welcome any and all bands to send in their demo tapes to the Northwest Youth Alliance, 4025 Chesapeake St. NW, Washington, DC 20016. All types of music and musicians are welcome, within the restrictions of our permit. Please join us again next summer!


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