By Laura Ferreiro
Arcade Fire have announced that they will give a lecture titled “Hope, Haiti and Service” at the University of Texas at Austin on March 19. According the University’s website, Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Will Butler, and Marika Anthony-Shaw of the Montreal-based, Grammy Award-winning band will discuss the current socio-economic crisis in Haiti, and their own volunteer efforts in the region.
The band will also tout the non-profit organization Partners in Health, whose efforts to rebuild Haiti they’ve supported for years. Arcade Fire and Chassagne in particular have been outspoken advocates for the troubled country. The Canadian singer’s family immigrated from Haiti, and she wrote a moving editorial at The Observer asking that the West not abandon Haiti but instead “treat Haiti with compassion and respect and (to) make sure that the country gets back on its feet” following the massive earthquake that struck the country in 2010.
Arcade Fire’s lecture in Austin just a day after SXSW is fueling speculation that the band may make a surprise appearance at the festival.