All images courtesy of EcoStation:NY

Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir are bringing their unique brand of activist gospel performance to Lot 45 (411 Troutman St, Bushwick) this coming Thursday in a benefit for EcoStation:NY.

The “anti-consumerist gospel shouters” are headlining EcoStation’s annual winter fundraiser to support programs like Bushwick Farmers’ Market and the urban-farm education program Bushwick Campus Farm.

It’s been a big year for Reverend Billy and his group. They opened for Neil Young on some of the legendary rocker’s tour dates this year, playing arena-sized venues like Jones Beach. The Reverend and company also held their annual protest of the flagship Macy’s store on Black Friday, singing songs admonishing shoppers of “the carbon emissions and sweatshop labor of their Black Friday sales.”

Now, they take on Bushwick–a fitting culmination to their achievements this year, we think.

EcoStation co-founder Travis Tench is a singer in the Stop Shopping Choir and will be performing in Thursday’s show. He told us that it was “a dream” to open for Neil Young with the group, and said it was meaningful gesture for Young to align himself with Reverend Billy’s message.

“It’s really powerful that someone of his stature in the world has the courage to stand up and call some things out that are wrong,” Tench said.

Part of that message is to call attention to human threats to the environment, making Reverend Billy a natural fit with EcoStation’s mission to expand access to sustainable food to the community and educate people about environmental and health issues through urban agriculture.

EcoStation’s WinterFest, will also be significant for Tench for another reason: it will be his last as a member of EcoStation’s staff. Tench is stepping down from his role as EcoStation’s Director of Markets, which made him a familiar face at the Saturday farmers’ market at Maria Hernandez Park for years. For the near future, Tench told us he plans to “spend more time making music.”

EcoStation Co-Founder Travis Tench

Photo by Joel Wolfram

Tench will be honored on Thursday for his service to EcoStation since its founding. The Bushwick-based non-profit is now entering its seventh year.

The event will also feature a raffle and hors d’oeuvres provided by Djenna, Lot45’s in-house purveyor of French-Algerian street food. Tickets are available online for $35 and include two drink tickets.

Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm.

WinterFest poster

EcoStation NY Presents: WinterFest 2015 at Lot 45, 411 Troutman St, Bushwick, Thursday, December 10, starts at 7pm.