SANTA FE, NM (Viz Release) January 19, 2021 – – As the country reels from a relentless pandemic, New Mexico has been particularly hard hit. Amid extreme poverty and rural isolation, New Mexico’s brave healthcare workers have risen to the challenge, again and again, working tirelessly for their communities.
In a demonstration of solidarity and hope, a small team in New Mexico has stepped up to create a documentary concert and storytelling event, TONIC for the Times, to honor New Mexico’s healthcare workers and raise funds for the communities that have the most need throughout the state.
Inspired by B.B. King’s iconic statement that music “is a tonic for whatever ails you,” TONIC will feature:
– Stories from New Mexico’s healthcare workers and the patients they have helped throughout the state
– Musical performances by nationally-renowned and local, New Mexico musicians
– Celebrity shout-outs honoring our caregivers
Performances include Chris Vos of the Record Company, Grammy-nominated Cedric Burnside, American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, Sophie B Hawkins, Glenn Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Press Strings, Steven Dayvid McKellar of Civil Twilight, and Collin Raye, as well as New Mexico bands. Celebrity shout outs include Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Penn Jillette of Penn + Teller, Public Enemy’s Brian Hardgroove, Representative Deb Haaland, Senator Ben Ray Lujan, and Breaking Bad’s Steven Michael Quezada.
“No other group has been as selfless in the face of this pandemic as New Mexico’s caregivers,” says Lillian Montoya, President, and CEO of Christus St. Vincent Hospital. “It is our collective responsibility to hear their stories and to lift them up in any way we know how. Research has proven that music truly does have the power to heal, and New Mexico has a unique legacy of music that we can offer to them in gratitude.”
What sets TONIC apart are interviews with healthcare workers telling their own stories across the state. What it has been like to be on the frontline of COVID-19, how it has changed them, and what they want people to know and to do. “I’ve watched three generations of one family die from COVID,” says Dr. Biijibaa Garrison, a surgeon at the Northern Navajo Medical Center and Navajo herself, “These communities need all the help they can get from their fellow citizens here in New Mexico and across the country.”
TONIC is a unique event based on a series of interlocking gifts: local and national musicians will give the gift of music to New Mexican frontline healthcare workers. Healthcare workers tell their stories in their own words, and the event will encourage donations to grassroots organizations supporting the hardest-hit communities in New Mexico. Viewers across the nation can express their appreciation for both the music and the workers by giving to these organizations. These interlocking gifts will create a network of care and support throughout the state and across the country.
The Tonic for the Times Fund has been established by La Liga, a non-profit organization, in conjunction with Poeh Cultural Center and Continuous Pathways Foundation. Poeh Cultural Center will coordinate the fund through grantmaking to New Mexicans with the most urgent needs in this time of crisis.
Tonic for Times was created by Juliette Maas, Cyndi Conn, Talia Kosh, Rich Henrich, and Mayanthi Fernando.
TONIC will stream its premiere on January 30, 2021, and continue with replay for 24 hours for other timezones to enjoy, participate, and support. Fans can donate at www.tonicforthetimes.com.