Holly Near at the Havurah

Entertainer and activist Holly Near uses her music as a vehicle to express her views on women, war, domestic violence and equal rights.

Near will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland.

Her music is a combination of her talent as a singer/songwriter and her passion for social justice.

In her early 20s, Near was an aspiring actress in film and television, but eventually her focus turned to music that articulated social conditions. Near began writing and singing political songs and added a feminist perspective to many anti-war songs.

When she was 22, Near joined Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland on the Free the Army Tour on which they sang to soldiers who were resisting the war and racism in the military. In 1972, she founded the politically conscious Redwood Records, becoming one of the first women to start an independent record company.

Over the years, Near has become a spokeswoman on issues such as gay and lesbian rights, a woman's right to choose, stopping domestic violence and ending nuclear war.

Her protest/folk music has been heard by audiences worldwide. She presented at the 2004 War Lecture for the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in California, delivered the keynote address for Women Change America at Smith College in Massachusetts, performed at the March For Women's Lives in Washington, D.C., and at the Stop The War demonstrations in New York. Her humanitarian efforts also have included joining Eve Ensler for a march in Juarez, Mexico, protesting the uninvestigated killing of hundreds of young women; witnessing the testimonies of women reporting rape and other violence against women in Ohio; and raising funds for 120,000 Kites, an antiwar project between Israeli and Palestinian youth.

Near will be performing with emma's revolution this weekend at the Havurah Shir Hadash.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $24 at the door, and are available at Music Coop in the A Street Marketplace in Ashland or online at www.brownpapertickets.com. Call 488-7716.

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