Over the past year, access to safe and legal abortion has taken some serious hits from the Texas Legislature. After the passage and implementation of HB2, one of the country's most restrictive abortion laws, the majority of the state's abortion facilities were forced to close. In the wake of these attacks on reproductive healthcare, thousands of women are left without the ability to find or pay for a procedure that they desperately need. That's where the Texas Equal Access Fund, together with Art Peña's Vice Palace and a host of Dallas musicians, comes in.
This Dallas-based nonprofit provides financial assistance to low-income women who can't afford to pay for their abortion. Each TEA Fund grant is around $50 to $100, which is largely due to the fact that there are so many women who need funding that the group simply cannot give more. Women across the state are now calling TEA Fund to get assistance, which has only further overburdened their tight budgets.
Local synthpop band Little Beards has a unique connection to the fight for abortion access in Texas. One half of the husband-wife duo, Nan Little Kirkpatrick, also serves as the executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund when she isn't playing in her two bands. Kirkpatrick formed Little Beards with her husband Sean, an artist with an extensive career in Dallas music, playing in bands like Nervous Curtains and John Congelton's the Paper Chase.
Nan Little Kirkpatrick is also in a band called Frauen, which sounds like a seriously busy schedule of making, practicing and playing music. In an effort to raise a little cash for TEA Fund, the Kirkpatricks have put together a show Saturday night at the roving DIY venue Vice Palace inside the Oliver Francis Gallery to raise money for the TEA Fund's annual Bowl-A-Thon.
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If you're into good local music, especially of the "synthy" variety, you're not going to want to miss Saturday night's show. In addition to the Kirkpatricks' acts, Denton-based dreampop trio Nite is also slated to play, and just yesterday oddball performance artist George Quartz was announced as the headliner of the bill. Earlier this year, Quartz served as the musician-in-residence at Vice Palace, a quirky, progressive music space.
A brand-new band called Kitbashes, composed of several top-secret Dallas musicians, will also make their debut at Vice Palace. Nan Little Kirkpatrick wasn't willing to divulge any information about who is actually in Kitbashes, but she promises that everyone was going to enjoy what they're working on. Proceeds from the show's $5 cover charge will go directly to funding abortions, which sounds like a pretty sweet deal. DJ Gabe Mendoza is scheduled to play between the bands.
In addition to the music, TEA Fund will have tables at the show to provide concertgoers with information about how to get involved with the organization in ways other than just buying a ticket, like volunteering for a hotline shift. The group has also assembled an impromptu silent auction, with sweet prizes like a hair and makeup session at Dallas Pin Up and artisan made jewelry.
"I know when people hear silent auction, they think expensive," says Nan Little Kirkpatrick. "But we're going to keep the costs low so everybody can bid with the spare cash they brought."