Hillsborough singer-songwriter Jess Klein has a voice that Mojo magazine calls “one of those voices you want to crawl up close to the speakers to listen to.” Fresh off of a 4-week tour through England and Ireland, Jess returns to North Carolina to perform at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center’s first annual “Power of the Voice Benefit Concert” On Saturday, June 1, along with Lydia Loveless and Reese McHenry. For Jess, this is just another way that to give to an organization whose mission and values align so closely with her own.
“After the 2016 election I felt a need to get involved,” recalls Jess. “In my music I talk about personal and political things. I wanted to be with people who were taking action to create a better world in a more day-to-day way, not just for art. So I started volunteering once a week as a receptionist at OCRCC.”
Jess spent a year as on “office volunteer” at OCRCC, coming in weekly to do whatever tasks the staff needed help with. She greeted clients, made copies, put together brochures, and helped craft pins for the Punk Cuts fundraiser. While the tasks may seem less than glamorous, having volunteers is crucial to the organization’s work and often uplifting for volunteers like Jess.
“For me it was one of the highlights of my week to be around the people who work there,” said Jess. “Everyone is very open and communicative and listens to each other. It felt like whatever I was feeling there was space for it there. I remember thinking, ‘if the world could be run like this organization is run, the world would be in a much better place.’”
Jess hopes that the “Power of the Voice” raises funds for the organization’s prevention work, including the SafeTouch and StartStrong programs at local schools. She also wants people to know how much respect she has for OCRCC and it’s approach.
“There’s a lot of places that people can donate their money, but from my personal experience having been inside the organization, it’s very well run, their objectives are very clear and they’re very holistic about reaching them,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be able to be part of the benefit and I’m really grateful to the rape crisis center for all that they do. It’s so important for people to feel safe and empowered with their body and with their voices.
“Power of the Voice” takes place on June 1 at the Local 506. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. Visit etix to buy tickets and donate in advance.
To learn more about Jess Klein’s new album “Back to My Green” visit her official website.