Preparing for the Lifesongs Concert

As we prepare for our concert on May 7 I wanted to share an update on all of our work.

I have always been proud to be a part of Lifesongs and the Academy for the Love of Learning. I am particularly proud this year. At a time when federal support for the arts and the humanities is threatened, when their inherent value is being questioned, I feel incredibly grateful for the existence of arts programs like Lifesongs: programs that use creative collaboration to foster greater trust, understanding, and compassion between people of different ages, races, colors, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities; programs that strive to make our communities better places to live and safer places to be with one another.

Community partnerships have always been an essential part of Lifesongs – we couldn’t do this work without our friends at the Santa Fe Care Center, Santa Fe Waldorf School, Ambercare Hospice, UNM, and The Santa Fe Opera. This year we deepened existing partnerships, expanded our intergenerational reach through some new alliances and developed new funding partners. Here is a thumbnail sketch of what new collaborations and additional support made possible.

For the first time, the Lifesongs Community Creative Ensemble worked with young people from the New Mexico Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network. Together they created a song that is part prayer, part rallying cry. Thank you to LuzMarina Serrano and Christopher Allers for joining forces with us and for their youth advocacy.

We are also very grateful to Steve Paxton and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s MooLoo Colony choir for being willing to go on this adventure with us. It has been a real pleasure to work with them! Two gifted young dancers from NDI NM join us on stage May 7 thanks to the support of Allegra Lillard and NDI NM at the Dance Barns.

Another exciting development this year has been the evolution of our partnership with the Santa Fe Waldorf School. At the school’s invitation, we have been working to integrate our story gathering pedagogy into the 5th and 6th grade curricula. Students have been sharing personal stories with elders from the Santa Fe Care Center and Kingston Residence. My thanks to Kacey McCreery and Angelia Madrid for their commitment to making this happen for the elders at Kingston.

We are indebted to the Envision Fund at the Santa Fe Community Foundation for their vision. Their support allowed us to pilot Our Voices/Our Stories, and this created another opportunity for us to collaborate with the NM GSA Network. Our Voices/Our Stories pairs LGBTQ identified elders and youth with Lifesongs artist facilitators to create and perform original songs that honor their unique history.

The yearly concert is an opportunity for the wider community to experience the powerful alchemy of intergenerational exchange. We thank New Mexico Arts for helping to make this year’s concert possible and for their ongoing commitment to our program.

And finally, I offer my heartfelt thanks to our volunteers and artists for their tireless commitment to this beloved community. They are the beating heart of the program.

This work is transformational for all involved and I truly hope that you will experience some of that power by attending the concert I invite you to become involved in the community and/or consider supporting us financially. Funding will allow us to reach more elders and youth, and to train more people to do this work themselves, creating the communities of care that we so fervently believe are not only possible, but within reach.

To purchase tickets to the concert please visit the Tickets Santa Fe website or call (505) 988-1234
To donate to support the concert please visit https://aloveoflearning.org/supporting-lifesongs/
For more information about how to get involved, call us on (505) 995-1860 or send me an email at acushla@aloveoflearning.org.

We hope to see you very soon!

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: There are not that many spots left