Chilean students hosting benefit concert for Chile

On a recent trip to her home city of Santiago, Chile, Natalia Bogolasky Fliman, a graduate student studying specialized journalism, saw the damage caused by the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that hit the country Feb. 27 and was inspired to help.

Ever since the earthquake rattled her home country, Fliman knew she wanted to organize a fundraising concert. Now, Fliman and Alan Fischer, a graduate student majoring in cinema-television production, have organized a fundraising concert that they hope will remind the public of the trouble the country is still facing.

“It’s not in the news [in the United States] anymore,” Fliman said. “The situation is not really good, but [we’re] really getting nervous because help is not getting to them … It’s a part of our responsibilities to help, too.”

The event, called “Los Angeles Helps Chile,” is a fundraiser for non-profit group Un Techo Para Chile (A Roof for Chile), which has been actively constructing emergency housing for earthquake victims, especially in the southern area of the country where the earthquake struck the hardest.

“It’s really important for [the organization] to work fast because the winter is coming in the South of Chile,” Fliman said. “We are really committed in trying to help this organization to work as fast as possible.”

The name of the event, Fischer said, echoes other relief efforts around the world.

“All the events organized throughout the world have been named the same, like ‘Japan Helps Chile,’ and ‘Paris Helps Chile,’” he said.

Yael Meyer, a Chilean native and musician, and Shane Alexander, a Los Angeles-based musician, will perform at the event as well as stand-up comedians Tracy Locke and Erik Passoja.

“We wanted to do something fun, so we wanted not only Chileans to be interested,” Fliman said.

Fischer said Meyer helped find and schedule the other musician and comedians.

Fliman will also be auctioning off authentic Chilean products that she brought back from her recent trip that are generally not available in the United States. These products include Pisco, the national liquor; Vino, Chilean wine; and Chilean chocolate and caramel.

José Manuel Lira, the Los Angeles Chilean consul general, will be attending the event, along with Chilean students from UCLA, USC and Chapman University. Other students and residents from the L.A. area will also attend.

“We want to invite as many people as possible and raise awareness that in Chile there are more than two million people affected by the earthquake,” Fischer said. “The South is completely destroyed, and people are living on the streets and in emergency housing, and I don’t think that people are aware of that in the States.”

The event will take place today at Vermont Bar — located at 1714 N. Vermont Ave. — from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tickets are $10, and all proceeds will be donated to Un Techo Para Chile.