Huge thanks to Barry & Maya Spector and all the performers and organizers from Rumi’s Caravan – whose Oakland benefit on July 14 raised over $4000 for MECA’s programs. The event features what they call a “poetic conversation,” where polished but “everyday” performers take turns spontaneously sharing poetry – by Rumi and Mary Oliver to William Stafford and Joy Harjo – with stunning live musical accompaniment. The poetry is rehearsed but unplanned, meaning that what one performer shares then inspires a poem from another performer.

At intermission, the sold-out crowd of 350 surrounded the MECA table, buying Palestinian crafts, signing our mailing list, and stuffing our collection box with hefty donations.