Imagine that you have a smart, talented, beautiful daughter who is attending her first year at a prestigious university. Then imagine that same cherished child is snatched from the world by a senseless, brutal act of violence.
For Arik and Hannah Housley, that nightmare became reality when their daughter, Alaina, was killed in a mass shooting while out dancing with her college friends.
What would you do?
After a period of reflection, the Housley family started the Alaina’s Voice Foundation to be a positive change in mental health.
“Alaina’s Voice Foundation has a mission to inspire hope and kindness through education, music and mental health initiatives,” says Arik. “We believe this is the best way to inspire hope and kindness is by listening to music, together, outside with our community.’
On Sunday, August 15, on the Oxbow River Stage in downtown Napa, Matt Nathanson will headline a benefit concert for Alaina’s Voice. Tickets are limited and are $25 per person, available online at AlainasVoice.org. The doors open at 5 pm and the show starts at 6 pm. Producers of the show are BottleRock Presents, the producers of BottleRock Napa Valley, in partnership with Blue Note Entertainment Group and Another Planet Entertainment.
“The night Alaina lost her life, along with 11 others, our world changed in an instant,” recalls Arik. “But in that moment of sorrow, we felt so much love from everyone around us. Some of our closest friends and perfect strangers showed kindness for which we could never thank them enough.”
He and the board of Alaina’s Voice Foundation discussed what they could do to follow the vision of “Be the positive change.” They realized that people had a difficult time coping during the COVID pandemic due to isolation. People felt alone, sad, anxious and uncomfortable. They’d lost their jobs and had no access to mental health or were afraid to tell others of their fears.
“The first thing that came very naturally to our board was to offer ‘bridge therapy,’” says Arik.
“Many found themselves needing mental health support and therapy. However, there weren’t appointments available through their providers. Many were out of work and had no access or money to pay for therapy. We set up a small network of some amazing local therapists with all different specialties and allowed them to provide the services to people in the Napa Valley that were in need.”
Arik says there’s no intention for Alaina’s Voice Foundation to build anything that will get in the way of or conflict with local organizations in the Napa Valley. Rather, they receive referrals, offer support, promote and spread the message of many such services as Mentis, COPE and NEWS. Patients aren’t told their help is coming by way of Alaina’s Voice.
“Shootings in our country are running rampant and suicides are significantly higher,” says Arik.
“This is why Alaina’s Voice Foundation focuses on bridging the gap to get individuals the support they need. We want people to know, ‘It’s ok to not be okay.
It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to be different.’ We are all human and sadly technology has removed so much of humanity in our daily lives.”
All the money received from the fundraising concert goes to support the therapists who help the Alaina’s Voice Foundation. Also, all the efforts remain in the Napa Valley.
Michael Franti headlined the first event, held at Blue Note in 2019, attended by 600 concertgoers. The second event, supposed to be held in 2020, was to star Matt Nathanson. That show was postponed due to the pandemic.
“Now we are excited and so incredibly grateful Matt Nathanson was still on board to play his music and help us spread Alaina’s Voice. He’s an amazing musician and great performer who plans to work with us to help promote hope and kindness. BottleRock, Blue Note and Another Planet have been unbelievably supportive to help spread the message with us, that we are all in this together.”
Matt Nathanson has been called one of the most applauded songwriters and engaging performers on the music scene today. His 2007 album “Some Mad Hope” yielded his breakthrough multi-platinum hit “Come on Get Higher.” His latest album, “Sings His Sad Heart” had the hit single “Used to Be,” which was a chart climber and hit the top 20 on Adult Top 40.
Housley adds that there will be no VIP seats for this performance.
“There’re no private reserve seats. We are all there to smile, laugh, sing, dance and be together. Because we are One Valley One Heart.”
Benefit Concert for Alaina’s Voice Foundation
Starring Matt Nathanson
Sun., Aug. 15, 2021
Doors Open at 5 pm, Show Starts 6 pm
Oxbow RiverStage, Downtown Napa
Tickets:$25 per person