While Dutch ReBelle is known for her distinct ability to rhyme and sing in verse, this week she’s lending her voice not to a song, but to a cause. The 2014 Boston Music Award-winner for Best Hip-Hop Artist is throwing a charity event this Saturday with the funds going to a small school in need in her native Haiti.
Held at Allston’s Garage Boston starting at 4 p.m., the day party and networking event is the latest in the Elevate Benefit Mixer series, and will unite area creatives for an afternoon of food, drinks and dancing — all to help the Korektho charitable organization meet its fundraising goals so that the Lekol Korektho school may keep its doors open this coming fall.
ReBelle was born Vanda Bernadeau on the island before being raised in Milton, and Korektho is an organization close to her heart. Her father Vandal served as the charity’s treasurer since its 2005 inception in Mattapan, with most of her family involved. Held at VFW and American Legion halls, Korektho events would unite local members of the community to eat, drink, dance and raise money to keep the school of middle and high school-aged kids running in the small Haitian town of Thomonde, from which her family hails. Watching her fun-loving brethren come together and buckle down for something that truly made a tangible difference in people’s lives made an impact.
“The party was art, it was family, it was fun, it was drinking, it was looking nice -- but when me and my family went home, my father would be counting the losses and gains. No matter how fun it had been, it was about, ‘This is what we made for the kids,’” she says.
Now ReBelle, whose rapping acumen has gained notice from high-profile music outlets like XXL and The Source and who recently served as a closing act for Boston’s Outside the Box Festival, has taken up the cause, and is using her influence to keep the event going.
“Every cause is important, but I believe in the power of caring about what you do because you’re a part of it,” ReBelle says. She found that people were willing to help. Comedian the King Ali will host, chefs are donating are donating authentic Haitian food and when she approach the Garage Boston nightclub as a venue, they told her they had been dying to do a fundraiser, but no one ever propositioned.
More than anything, ReBelle wants people to come out for a good time, for good reasons. “It’s going to be as close to what I grew up on -- dancing, partying, eating, and 100% of the ticket sales go to the school,” she says. Joined by DJ Real P and DJ Alcide, the day promises to be full of music, cuisine and heavy servings of goodwill.
She promises, “People will be very tired by the time they go home.”
If you go:
Elevate Benefit Mixer: The Day Ball
Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
20 Linden St., Allston
$20 donation at the door