Think about a Pride weekend from years past, back to a time when you colored your hair for fun and not to cover the gray. Chances are the band BETTY was on stage. Or when you subscribed to Showtime so you could watch “The L Word.” Every week you heard BETTY. Been to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in the past 15 years? Then you definitely saw BETTY on Night Stage.
For 30 years, Alyson Palmer and sisters Amy and Elizabeth Ziff have brought their combination of spoken word, a’capella, and roof-raising rock to thousands. As passionate activists for the rights of women, girls, and the LGBTQ community, they’ve performed hundreds of concerts to raise money and awareness for human rights of all kinds. Yet despite the seriousness of the issues they raise their voices for, BETTY stays true to the belief that fighting for social change doesn’t mean you can’t have a wild party at the same time.
But like most of us, they’ve gotten wiser over the years, and a year ago they focused their efforts to align with the mission of their new nonprofit. The BETTY Effect uses music to foster self-advocacy in women, girls, and diverse groups seeking empowerment, for social change and human rights worldwide. Through workshops and participatory concerts, The BETTY Effect energizes and motivates groups to find and share their unique voices. They’ve covered such issues as reproductive rights and responsibilities with Planned Parenthood, body image with No More Diets Coalition, and self-advocacy in women and girls in their role as Arts Envoys for the US State Department.
Although BETTY has performed around the world – Europe, South America, India – it’s been 10 years since they’ve played in the Bay Area. But luckily, that drought will end on Wed. March 23 with their 8 PM show at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. Yes, it’s a weeknight, and you may think you’ll be too tired from work. But it’s at a coffeehouse that serves, among other drink options, coffee. It’s an event worth getting a little wired for. You’ll hear new music from their upcoming CD, and you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about The BETTY Effect.
So get a bunch of friends together and reacquaint yourself with BETTY on March 23. They’d love to see you again. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door.