Richmond singer/songwriter extraordinaire Susan Greenbaum
By Martha Steger
As professional communicators, we’re storytellers.
That’s true of singers/songwriters, too. Virginia Press Women’s Awards
Committee is pleased to announce singer/songwriter Susan Greenbaum as the 2013
Newsmaker to be honored at our fall conference on Sept. 21 at The Westwood Club
As Linda Evans demonstrated in her justification for Greenbaum’s recognition,
the singer/songwriter’s “devotion to many worthy causes to which she
contributes time, talent and sweat equity” has made news in Richmond-area media
during the past year – and for several years. “I’m not talking about
publicity generated through weekly calendar notices,” Evans said regarding
Greenbaum’s performances. “News stories have covered her commitment to
helping others, but much of what she does never reaches the printed page.”
Among the many beneficiaries of her talents is The Positive Vibe Café, a
nonprofit restaurant that provides a training program for people with
disabilities to help them learn skills for gaining employment in the
food-service industry. Greenbaum performs free of charge many times a year at
the restaurant and has been involved for many years with the café’s annual
VibeFest fundraiser, the past three years serving as “MC” as well as performer.
This year she helped organize the first Coaches Cook-off fundraiser for the café
that pitted VCU’s Shaka Smart against UR’s Chris Mooney in a cooking contest.
Greenbaum has been closely involved with the nonprofit organization SPARC
(School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community) and performed with
students, many of them with disabilities, in the school’s first Live Art
production last June. The school serves students ages 3 – 18 to help them reach
their full potential through quality training in the performing arts.
She has also performed free of charge in recent years to raise funds for
Caritas Celebrity Serve, Hanover Mental Health Association, Special Olympics,
Goochland Free Clinic and Freedom House. Her ability as a writer is evident in
the many songs she has written through the years – enough to fill nearly five CDs.
Compass Records recently signed her for a CD recorded in Nashville that is
receiving airplay throughout the country.
After Toots (of Toots & The Maytals) was recently injured by a thrown
liquor bottle while performing in Richmond, Greenbaum helped organize an effort
to send him a huge banner with good wishes from the people of Richmond. She
paid for half the banner and took it to events for people to sign. In the clip from NBC affiliate WWBT-TV12, she
talks about what a great city Richmond is and that this one incident is not
representative of Richmonders: http://www.nbc12.com/story/22540488/local-musicians-rally-for-toots.
VPW members can look forward to hearing from Susan Greenbaum at our fall
I thank VPW members Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield and Olympia
Meola for serving with me on the Awards Committeeand also the VPW members who
nominated the other, very good candidates for Newsmaker 2013.