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Music fest featuring The Chicks to support statue relocation

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Musical artists The Chicks, Ruthie Foster, James McMurtry, David Ramirez, Eliza Gilkyson, Dar Williams, Ray Prim, Akina Adderley, Grace Pettis, Rachael Sage, and more are set to appear at the "Move Forward Virtual Music Fest" to raise money to safely relocate two historic Confederate Monuments from the Bastrop County Courthouse lawn. The event will include original performances, new videos and guest speakers and will take place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 18th at 6:30 p.m. The project is organized by the Bastrop County Monument Relocation Committee. All proceeds will go to the BCMRC.

The objective of the project is twofold: to help Bastrop County promote an environment of racial equality and to ensure that the history of the two monuments is preserved. Of the $50,000 needed to carefully remove and relocate the statues, $28,000 has been raised, with $22,000 more needed to complete the process.

The "Move Forward Virtual Music Fest" will be simulcast on Move Forward's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The relocation was given the go ahead by Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape. All participating artists concur with Bastrop City Council Member Dock Jackson, one of two Black members of the Council and a longtime advocate for the city's Black community, who wrote: "The Confederate monuments are a serious concern to the Black community, but I think they're now a concern to the whole community. Not only because of recent events, but because of the message it sends. When you have to go to the courthouse for birth certificates or marriage licenses, you have to pass by those monuments, and that's not a very pleasant reminder of the past."

The committee was empaneled after the Bastrop County Commissioners Court voted in July to remove its two Confederate monuments from the courthouse lawn. One of the statues is a tall stone obelisk with Confederate symbols that was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1910. The second is a granite headstone commemorating Joseph D. Sayers, a major in the Confederate Army and Texas’ 22nd governor, which was erected in 1964 by the state of Texas.

Cheryl Lee and Sharah Johnson, Co-Chairs of the Bastrop County Monument Relocation Committee explain: "The Committee is confident that the relocation can be done in a dignified manner, and has resolved to make this transition one that will honor this part of history in Bastrop County while allowing our community to advance toward a more just and inclusive home for all of our residents."

The festival will feature a personal message from 13-time Grammy-winning Texas band, The Chicks along with their new music video, "March March," and additional performances, music videos and messages from other luminaries, including artists Ruthie Foster, James McMurtry, Eliza Gilkyson, Dar Williams, David Ramirez, Akina Adderley, Ron DeShay, Tom Prasada-Rao, Rachael Sage, Crys Matthews & Heather Mae, Ray Prim, Robert Kraft, Nobody’s Girl, BettySoo, Rebecca Loebe, Grace Pettis; and speakers Cheryl Lee (host), Co-Chair of Bastrop County Monument Relocation Committee, and Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of "Trust Me, I'm Lying," "The Obstacle is the Way," and other titles.

For more information about the fundraiser or to make a donation, please contact: Cheryl Lee, Co-Chair, Bastrop County Monument Relocation, Committee, P.O. Box 136, Bastrop, TX 78602 (payable to Confederate Monument Relocation Fund), 512-636-0374, cheryllee@sbcglobal.net or monumentrelocationbastrop@gmail.com.