The Mariposas Collective is a Memphis-based grassroots organization (previously called Migration Is Beautiful) working to help immigrants who have been detained while crossing the southern border. After their indefinite detentions, if they are released, these immigrants and asylum-seekers are bused to other parts of the U.S., where they have family.
"Memphis is their first stop on the Greyhound bus," says Memphis songwriter Louise Page. Volunteers with the Mariposas Collective meet these families with food, water, medicine, and toys. It's a simple mission of human kindness, offering some warmth and comfort to those who have seen only the harshest side of our nation.
- Kaitlyn Flint
- Louise Page
"It's really hard on the heart. It's difficult to watch," Page says of the political grandstanding at the border and the immigrants who suffer for it. "I think just being able to try to help is really valuable, not just to them, but to us." To that end, Page has assembled an impressive array of local talent to perform at a benefit concert for the Mariposas Collective this Saturday night at the Hi-Tone.
Page volunteers with the collective, which operates out of the First Congregational Church. "I signed up for a few shifts bagging brown bag lunches." Page remembers listing music among her other skills on a sign-up sheet during a volunteer shift, thinking: "How the heck is this going to help?" But then the collective's Hunter Demster approached her about putting together a benefit concert.
"It's all volunteers. It's all donated stuff," Page says of the Mariposas Collective, noting that creative fund-raising is often required. So the pianist agreed to put her special skills to use, and reached out to an eclectic group of musicians, united more by the night's mission than by any similar style or genre. Marcella Simien, Crown Vox, Faux Killas, Magnolia, the PRVLG, the Ellie Badge, and Rosie will join Page on the bill.
"I was proud of my community," Page says. "There were people who were really interested in making it work with their schedules." And with eight bands on the lineup, that's far from empty praise. "The one genre I didn't get was hip-hop," Page muses. "I need to get some hip-hop on the bill next time."
Even without her volunteer work and the challenge of organizing an eight-band benefit concert, Page has been busy of late. The singer/songwriter released her second EP, Simple Sugar, in 2018, supporting the release with an East Coast tour, a set at the 20th anniversary Lucero Family Block Party, and a music video release. Not one to sleep on success, Page has kept up her momentum this year.
"I'm doing pre-production for my first full-length album," Page says. "We're going to be recording this spring and hopefully releasing the record this summer."
Page wants the new album to be an evolution, rooted in her previous work but aiming for greater heights. "My first album was a little bit more eclectic, because I was looking back over years of music that I've written," Page says. "I studied my first two EPs, listened to them with a critical ear, listened for what I could really hone in on and make intentional."
To record the full-length album, Page plans to return to Young Avenue Sound, where she cut her first two EPs with Calvin Lauber. And she's bringing back her band, including the violin and horn section that have become such a characteristic part of her sound. "I want it to be fun," Page says of the album. "I'm really good at writing a sad song, and there will be some classic Louise Page bummer jams, but there are also a couple of songs I wrote to be fun to dance to. If the EPs are about heartbreak, I want this album to be about mending."
Page has mending on her mind, both in her music and in bringing together a community of musicians to assist those being victimized in our name. This Saturday, she hopes you'll come listen and celebrate, healing ourselves through helping others.
Louise Page, Marcella Simien, Crown Vox, Faux Killas, Magnolia, the PRVLG, the Ellie Badge, and Rosie at the Hi-Tone, Saturday, February 9th, 7 p.m. $15 suggested donation.