Arts For The Cure concert falls short of fund-raising goals

By D. Shayne Christie
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 14, 1996

Nicholas Valenzuela
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Comedian David Membrilla does his stand-up routine Sunday at Centennial Hall for the benefit for cancer awareness. The Arts for the Cure benefit show featured performances by local comedians, dancers and bands.


Turnout was lower than expected at Arts For The Cure's first benefit performance yesterday in Centennial Hall.

The event was created to educate people about breast cancer, provide entertainment and raise money for cancer research, the event's program stated.

Michelle and Cristoph Prado created Arts For The Cure after Michelle's bout with breast cancer made her aware she wanted to educate the public about breast cancer, Cristoph wrote in the event's program.

Tickets were priced at $12 with a $10 discounted price for students. There was also a student rush price of $7.

Sixty-seven tickets were collected at the door, said Terri McQuatters, a senior majoring in Spanish and Centennial Hall employee.

Nazilla Afshari, environmental sciences sophomore who was also working the door, said she estimated 20 people got in for an unspecified donation at the door.

Although exact figures were not available, Jeff Hudson, an Arts For The Cure committee member, said for the first act there were about 150 people present.

The group also had pink ribbons and roses for sale in the lobby for a small donation. Purchase of the ribbons entered the buyers into a raffle for a trip to Disneyland, movie passes and other prizes.

Cristoph Prado said $5,000 of his own money was invested in the event. Although the performers offered their talents for free, Prado said the event did not generate much money.

He said he estimated the money raised to be between $700 and $1,000.

The performance also ran into some problems yesterday because three bands that were scheduled to play canceled.

The bands gave Prado no prior notice that they were going to cancel, and he said the cancellations "disappointed" him.

Despite the pull-outs, four bands, a solo vocalist, three comedians and a number of dancers and other visual artists performed at the benefit, which lasted more than four hours.

Jordan Brown, Arts For The Cure committee member, said the expectations were for a much larger crowd.

"We thought that we had plenty of advertising, I think we expected a little more," Brown said.

"The hardest thing is getting people to come, I feel with this show we've got a standard set."

"We're already gearing up for next year, the number is of no significance for what Arts For The Cure is doing for the future," Brown said. "The show is finished but not complete."

"I don't really know exactly what went wrong," Cristoph Prado said. "Maybe it didn't produce the money, but the concept is still going and it will keep going."

Prado said this is the event's first year and this year's difficulties will only help them make next year's show better.

Gene Ruley, guitarist for The Drakes, said he was happy to play for such a good cause.

"We were proud to take part in it, I wish more people would have showed up though," Ruley said.

Prado said after a few days of rest he is ready to get started on planning next year's show and other things Arts For The Cure has planned.

According to the event's program, among the group's 1997 plans are a monthly newsletter, a Fashions For The Cure show, planned for the spring, and the creation of various support groups for all ages and all types of cancer survivors and patients.

For information or to make a donation, write to: Arts For The Cure, c/o Mijo Productions, LLC, P.O. Box 42485, Tucson, Ariz., 85733. Or call 321-8011.