“Obviously, this is a challenging time for us all, and it is a challenging time for nonprofits and the arts. The contribution is warmly accepted,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director at The Fitton Center.
“David has a fantastic soul and a huge heart. He comes into the Fitton Center with his team and brings great energy and fabulous music. He’s an incredible musician.”
As a result of the global crisis, there are still a lot of challenges and uncertainty about what the future looks like for the arts. During the pandemic, the Fitton Center has shut its doors, but has remained active and engaged in the community through virtual and online programming.
“Our mission is to bring the arts to the people of Hamilton, Butler County and Greater Cincinnati in the best way we can in our theaters, ballrooms and performances, but also through our classes, workshops, community outreach and engagement. We are not able to fulfill our mission right now, and that is a big challenge, because that is something we really want to do. And, on the flip side of that, there are economic challenges,” MacKenzie-Thurley said, “Our whole reason for being is to bring people together.”
Shaw is the lead singer of The Revivalists, a Hamilton native and a graduate of Hamilton High School. He and his band have played at RiversEdge since its inception, even before the amphitheater was built. He also drove efforts in creating the David Shaw’s Big River Get Down event.
“The coolest part about it is not only did he raise money for the Fitton Center by doing chats with people, he said he was going to match what he raised as a donation to the Fitton Center. It is really encouraging to see David getting behind his hometown, helping out. He always has. Hamilton obviously is a special place for him, and he has been incredibly supportive of our efforts over the years,” said Adam Helms, director of Resident Services for the City of Hamilton and organizer of the RiversEdge concert series, Whimmydiddle Music Festival and David Shaw’s Big River Get Down.
The Fitton Center is a big supporter of RiversEdge and RiversEdge is a big supporter of the Fitton Center, so this seemed like a natural thing to do, Helms said, their whole team, from the guys in the band to their management and agents, they’ve done a lot to help Hamilton.
“This is not a one-off for David and The Revivalists. They are continually active with their philanthropy. They do these types of things to help out all different kinds of charities, nonprofits, education and arts institutions…To have a band with that mentality, and especially to have the leader of that band be from Hamilton, it’s really incredible,” said Helms.
Shaw also puts a lot of time and effort into the Big River Get Down each year, making it a special event in his hometown.
“He is a really great ambassador for Hamilton,” Helms said.
The concept for 513 Day was launched by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the City of Hamilton to show support and encourage shopping at Hamilton’s small businesses. Participants in 513 Day also had a chance to win an autographed Big River Get Down poster and other prizes.