Friday, June 22, 2007

“Tuesday in the Park” Hosts Hootie & the Blowfish, School Supply Drive!

Two-time Grammy Winners’ Homegrown Tour Begins at Artpark on July 3!

(Lewiston, NY) Hootie & the Blowfish, the two-time Grammy Award winners best known for ‘90s signature tunes such as “Only Wanna Be With You,” “Hold My Hand” and “Let Her Cry,” are the headliner act of the “First Niagara Tuesday in the Park” free outdoor concert series at Artpark on July 3 and, like most Artpark events, this one is not all about the music. Artpark, which provides free hands-on art activities for kids at all of its free concerts, is also the first stop on Hootie & the Blowfish’s 15-city “Homegrown Tour,” a four-year-old initiative to collect school supplies for economically-disadvantaged schools in each community it visits. While the concert itself begins at 6:30pm with opening act Patrick Davis, Ransomville Bus Lines will supply a pair of on-site buses (one at each of Artpark's entrances) as early as 3pm to accept school supply donations from concertgoers. All supplies will be collected by volunteers from the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, and later distributed amongst Niagara County schools in need of such items.

The infectious melodies of Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim “Soni” Sonefeld became worldwide sensations following the 1994 release of the band’s debut album, Cracked Rear View. With hits like “Only Wanna Be With You,” “Hold My Hand” and “Let Her Cry,” the record went on to sell over 16 million copies – the 12th best selling album in music business history – and helped the group capture Grammy Awards for “Best New Artist” and “Song of the Year” (for “Let Her Cry”). They also took home an MTV Video Music Award for “Best New Artist,” a Billboard Music Award for “Album of the Year,” a People's Choice Award for “Album of the Year” and a People's Choice Award for “Best Selling Artist,” a feat they duplicated in 1996.

The band remains a top draw nationwide and has since released five more albums for Atlantic: Fairweather Johnson, Musical Chairs, Scattered, Smothered & Covered, Hootie & the Blowfish and The Best of Hootie & the Blowfish as well as solo albums by Rucker and Bryan. The band left Atlantic by mutual agreement in 2004 and released 2005’s Looking For Lucky on their own Sneaky Long Records. LIVE in Charleston, the Homegrown Concert Event DVD/CD was released in August of 2006.

Hootie & the Blowfish believe they have a responsibility to use their celebrity status to help improve the lives of those in need, especially children. They often take the lead in creating projects where they can join forces with other organizations to help make a positive difference in lives of today’s youth. The Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation was founded just for that purpose. As a private non-profit organization, The Foundation was originally created in 2000 to benefit children of South Carolina through education and supporting school music programs—since, it has spread to a nationwide campaign. The band’s Homegrown Tour, initiated in 2003 in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, has helped fill 21 busloads with educational items to date, totaling around $100,000 worth of much needed school supplies for children.

Artpark’s July 3 concert event with Hootie & the Blowfish is sponsored by The Reid Group.

The “First Niagara Tuesday in the Park” concert series is also sponsored by Certo Brothers Distributing Company, Sevenson Environmental Services, Modern Corporations, Hard Rock Café – Niagara Falls (USA), S&S Lawn Services, Tim Horton’s, Pine Pharmacy, DiMino’s Lewiston Tops and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Children’s art activities are sponsored by the New York Power Authority.

Artpark’s Outdoor Amphitheater can be accessed via the Upper Park’s Portage Road entrance off of Center Street or through South Fourth Street nearest the Mainstage Theater.

Carry-ins (food and beverages) are prohibited at all of Artpark’s free concert events while on-site parking is $6.

For more information, access the Artpark website at or call the Artpark Box Office at (716) 754-4375.

The Earl W. Brydges Artpark is being operated by Artpark & Company, Inc. for the
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation under a license agreement.

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