Arts and Entertainment

Bigtop and other bands at Mirkwood for Free Speech benefit

From left, Brian Fritts and Kirk Verhey are half of the band, Bigtop. Not pictured are Jeromy Leonard and Chris Black. They are performing Saturday, April 19, at Mirkwood’s Shire Cafe in a Free Speech Benefit to support a new First Amendment scholarship. - Courtesy photo
From left, Brian Fritts and Kirk Verhey are half of the band, Bigtop. Not pictured are Jeromy Leonard and Chris Black. They are performing Saturday, April 19, at Mirkwood’s Shire Cafe in a Free Speech Benefit to support a new First Amendment scholarship.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

An employee of the city of Arlington, Brian Fritts and his band are joining several other bands in a benefit for a new First Amendment Scholarship.

Live music will be offered starting at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 19, by three bands, Bigtop, The All-American Playboys and Sevrage at the Mirkwood & Shire Cafe, 117 Division St. at the north end of Olympic Avenue.

"The relevancy of this issue was raised by the 'heavy handed' treatment of Kay Powers, a Cascade High School teacher of English, journalism, and creative writing for 22 years," Fritts explained.

"Also, embroiled in this controversy is the Naperville School District in Illinois," Fritts added.

The first two scholarships will be awarded this year, in June, to two graduating Cascade High School seniors with plans to expand it next year to the entire Everett School District. In 2010 it will be open to all students in Snohomish County, in 2011 to all students in the state of Washington, and finally, in 2012, across the nation.

Students interested in applying for the scholarship must show involvement in community activities that showcase efforts to advocate for the First Amendment rights of others; must show the ability to write a compelling essay addressing the importance of the First Amendment in the 21st century; and must be making plans that exemplify how their education and career endeavors will uphold the First Amendment.

All ages are welcome. Come early for raffle prizes.

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