NEW BRITAIN - Joe Battaglia, a Hartford-based hip-hop artist and public school teacher, is bringing his Hip Hop for the Homeless benefit event to the Alvarium Beer Co. on Thursday, Nov. 30.
Looking to make a difference, Battaglia - also known as Joey Batts - started Hip Hop for the Homeless four years ago.
“I thought it would be a good idea. I realized various youth and middle-aged people need help this time of year. With the cold weather and holidays, some people want to celebrate but don’t have the resources,” Battaglia said. “I think the homeless and hungry need services year-round, but this time of year people feed off giving.
Each December, for two weekends, Battaglia partners with area nonprofit groups in several communities around the state, including New Britain.
He then organizes concerts at clubs, bars and restaurants featuring Connecticut artists.
Starting at 7 p.m., guests can listen to live music while trying the beers on tap at Alvarium. The Turkey Hut food truck will be on site.
Battaglia will be performing, as will local artists Nu Irth, Rozzi, Muggsy, Wrex Mason and Panda.
Guests can enter a raffle or buy a Hip Hop for the Homeless T-shirt, with proceeds going to the Prudence Crandall Center and the New Britain Friendship Center.
They can also donate canned goods, other food and clothing.
Battaglia admits that he never expected the annual event to become as popular as it is today, but is extremely happy it has. Last year, $2,924 was raised, he said.
Battaglia said Hip Hop for the Homeless began as a grassroots effort, and caught on by word of mouth. Now people look forward to it and entertainers contact him to be part of it.
“I’m fortunate to have a strong support system that can see my vision and see how passionate I am about it. A lot of people share that with me and are willing to follow me on that journey, sacrificing time, talent and resources to pushing philanthropy,” Battaglia said.
Those who can’t make the New Britain date, but still want to give, can catch Hip Hop for the Homeless at Chango Rosa in Hartford on Dec. 1, the Oasis Pub in New London on Dec. 2, Nora’s Cupcake in Middletown on Dec. 7, the Pacific Standard Tavern in New Haven on Dec. 8 and a location to be announced in Jewett City on Dec. 9.
For updates and more information, visit facebook.com/HipHopfortheHomeless
Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ADeRosaNBH.