The University Programs Council donated $150,000 to “A Concert for Charlottesville,” an event organized by the Dave Matthews Band after the white supremacist events of Aug. 11 and 12.
Entry into the concert was free, though donations were encouraged to support the victims of the mid-August attacks and help fund local programs working to strengthen the community.
UPC announced their donation on Facebook Sunday afternoon just prior to the concert.
“To help make this concert possible for you all and for the greater Charlottesville community, and to be as transparent with you all as possible, we have contributed $150,000 to production costs,” UPC said on Facebook.
UPC’s donation was delivered to help cover production costs like security, field maintenance, lighting and staging. They were unable to donate directly to the charitable Concert for Charlottesville Fund due to the limits of their organization’s policies.
“Due to our status as an agency organization, we cannot use our funds for charitable or philanthropic causes, which restricts us from making a direct donation to the Fund,” Nolan Reilly, a fourth-year Batten student and UPC Chair, said in an email. “Our contribution, however, will make it possible for more of the money raised to go towards the Concert for Charlottesville Fund and the Foundation.”
UPC’s pledge of $150,000 was initially supposed to fund the Welcome Week Concert.
Welcome Week’s artists, Future and Lil Yachty, due to concerns related to the violence in Charlottesville — and thereafter, .
“The unfortunate cancellation of our Welcome Week concert has given us the opportunity to use our remaining resources to provide exciting concert experiences for students,” UPC’s Facebook post read.
“Our decision to assist in funding the concert ultimately came from a place of making an investment in an experience that would positively impact student life, which is our mission in programming,” Reilly said. “We also saw this opportunity as a gesture from the student body in helping build this uniting, healing experience.”
The decision and allocation of the funds rested upon the UPC executive team, their advisors and faculty members.
“The planning process had to move incredibly quickly and confidentially, which limited the number of people who could assist in making the decision,” Reilly said.
Several students said they felt UPC worked towards an honorable cause.
“I felt that UPC did the right thing to donate to the Concert for Charlottesville … The concert was a great show of unity and togetherness for Charlottesville as a whole,” said Rohan Ahluwalia, a third-year College student. “Ultimately, I felt the money went to a deserved cause to help Charlottesville recover from the events of Aug. 11 and 12.”
Second-year College student Nikisha Singh attended the concert Sunday and said she thought UPC was able to serve the student body specifically through the event.
"I think it's really awesome that UPC made an effort to help make this event possible, especially after the fear that incoming first-years and returning students faced during the beginning of the semester,” Singh said.
The activist group Solidarity Cville, however, has criticized the concert as being a show of “false unity.”
“Community healing shouldn’t be led by those who failed the community — Mayor Mike Signer, the City Council, Chief Al Thomas, UVA President Teresa Sullivan, and many others,” an activist declared in a video on Vimeo.