Singing for the Apes

Infant Orangutan by Christoph MatzkeAs part of my day job I coordinate a campaign taking place in zoos across Europe called the EAZA Ape Campaign. (EAZA is the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, for which I am currently the communications and membership manager.) It aims to raise awareness of the threats to apes (gorillas, chimps, bonobos, orangutans and gibbons) in the wild and to raise funds that can be used to support conservation projects that are directly addressing those threats. The goal of the campaign is the make a significant and lasting contribution to the continued survival of apes and their habitats.

The ultimate goal of the campaign is to raise €1 million to create an Ape Conservation Fund. To make that more manageable for our 300 or so member zoos, we’ve broken it down into 300 times €3,333. Thus we’re asking our member zoos to take The 3333 Challenge. (Actually, not all of our members will participate or be able to raise funds for various reasons, while others will aim to raise much more than €3,333.) To help us on the way to that total we’re also encouraging other groups, companys and individuals to take the challenge; I decided to lead by example and try raising some money myself. This I intend to do by “singing for the apes”.

All money I make through my musical activities, starting from April 2011, will go towards the Ape Campaign, at least until the campaign formally closes in September. Other than the gigs I do now and again in Irish bars and elsewhere, the pay for which will go into the fund, I’ll also look for other opportunities to raise money, including busking in the streets of Amsterdam and, if anyone’s interested, private concerts on demand.

Where the money came from…

9/4 – €38 – busking in Vondelpark
21/4 – €125 – gig in Mulligans
25/4 – €21 – busking at Singel/Oude Leliestraat
30/4 – €37 – busking on Doelenstraat
31/5 – €7 – busing in Vondelpark (Tuesday evening – bad idea!)
24/6 – €150 – gig in Molly’s
30/6 – €125 – gig in Mulligans
16/7 – €150 – gig in Molly’s
08/09 – €155 – gig in Mulligans
09/09 – €150 – gig in Molly’s
10/09 – €150 – gig in Molly’s
23/09 – €305 – party in Fitzpatrick’s, Montpellier at EAZA Annual Conference (donations from song requesters!)