UPDATE: Jim James, Dhani Harrison, Talib Kweli and Lucinda Williams have been added to this year’s Pathway to Paris lineup next month.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will join the lineup at the newly announced Pathway to Paris Los Angeles. The concert takes place on September 16th at the Theatre at Ace. Tickets for this Pathway to Paris Los Angeles are on sale at the venue’s website. This is Pathway’s second California date following the previously-announced San Francisco event on September 14th.
Pathway to Paris is a nonprofit founded by musicians and activists Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon, who develop and curate events where artists, academics, government officials gather to encourage and educate people climate change activism. Smith and Foon are also working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help cities attain their emissions reduction goals put forth by the Paris Agreement.
“Artists are blessed with the ability to inspire and incite, but in the end it is the people who facilitate change,” Patti Smith, Jesse’s mother, says to Rolling Stone. “Pathway to Paris brings these forces together, art and activism. Their events bring to the forefront our civic duties and the joy and possibilities of unity. “
Both events will also feature former Animals singer Eric Burdon, Flea, environmentalist Bill McKibben, Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal and French pop-soul artist Imany.
“Is it a crisis? Is it a curse? The snow is not the same as I remember and the hills are burning,” Burdon tells Rolling Stone. “What I do know is it’s certainly our own fault … With Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, it is now or never for us to urgently to act as Global citizens and make every effort to preserve mother earth for our children’s children. Let us join voices and hope we can be heard.”
McKibben echoed him, saying: “These have been more than great concerts – they’ve been key sites for organizing resistance to climate change, and for powering that resistance forward!”
One of the objectives of the upcoming event, Foon says, is to inspire Los Angeles residents and officials to become a leader and model for clean cities. “We believe the solution to transitioning from fossil fuels and into a renewables and sustainable future lies within transforming our cities and communities,” Foon says.
Co-founder Jesse Paris Smith adds that music is integral to pushing this message. “Music, art and film create a platform for change to take place … Climate change is a global concern that unites us all in a great crisis of massive urgency. There is no question that the picture of a future without its reversal, and the destructive symptoms of its exacerbation, elicit great emotions across the world, emotions that can be expressed through music and art.
“Music is not only a source of healing and comfort, but it is our universal language. United by sound, our hearts are opened, our spirits ignited and when we are called to action in this kind of space, we make a public and trusted promise to each other to do our part.”