Messages from the Heart: Intergenerational Connections

Creativity and empathy in a time of social isolation
Messages from the Heart highlights Lifesongs’ unique collaborations and projects with elders and youth. Our intergenerational connections pre-date current physical distancing and we have adapted and expanded as a response. With this project, we and our partners, Atalaya Elementary School and Santa Fe Care Center, hope to share stories of learning throughout the lifecycle through intergenerational empathy and connection. Inspiring others to co-create and connect with the elders in their lives and to reach out to those feeling isolated in these times.

Event Details

Date: Sunday, July 26th, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM- 7:00 PM
Location: Online and social media
Notes: May through July, Lifesongs will share music, learning experiences, and opportunities to connect and engage with elders through two online initiatives. RSVP to receive updates and participate in ongoing creative activities.
Sunday the 24th May | 6:00pm - 6:30 pm
May - Facebook song premiere: “We Never Stop Growing”
Sunday the 7th June | 6:00pm - 6:30 pm
June - Facebook song premiere: “Heart Home”
Saturday the 27th June | 6:00pm - 7:00 pm
June - Facebook premiere: Behind the Lifesong
Sunday the 12th July | 6:00pm - 6:30 pm
July - Facebook song premiere: "You and Me, Forever and Always"
Sunday the 26th July | 6:00pm - 6:30 pm
July - Facebook song premiere: "All I Wanna Do Is Sing"

Song premieres:

  • Watch here – “We Never Stop Growing” by the Lifesongs Community Ensemble and Nathan Dunton
  • Watch here – “Heart Home” by Vanessa Torres McGovern
  • Watch here – Behind the Lifesong with Vanessa Torres McGovern and Acushla Bastible
  • Watch here – “You and Me, Forever and Always” by Martha Reich Braden with support from Vanessa Torres McGovern
  • Watch here“All I Wanna Do Is Sing” by Robin Ward Holloway with support from Nathan Dunton and vocals by Mariah Olesen

Messages from the Heart
 invites all people to co-create, imagine, and learn with elders in their communities during physical distancing and beyond.

Our project emerged from Lifesongs’ ongoing intergenerational collaborations with elders, youth, and community organizations in Santa Fe, NM and the desire to continue creating and connecting amidst physical distancing. With the cancellation of our first Lifesongs concert of the year, we’ve transitioned our in-person community concert and conversation events to an online experience.

For the months of May through July, Lifesongs will share music, learning experiences, and opportunities to connect and engage with elders through two online initiatives: Virtual Concert & Behind the Lifesong and Story GatheringOur online initiatives aim to share songs and stories of resilience and lifelong learning, foster virtual connections and intimacy across generational groups, and encourage communities to continue creating and imagining in these challenging times.

Follow the RSVP button above to register for this ongoing virtual event, receive Facebook premiere updates and creative activities to share with your friends, family and community.

Explore and engage with Lifesongs’ new online content by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Stay tuned for Facebook Live announcements! Premieres can also be viewed on our live events page here.

Learn more about Lifesongs and ways support and participate by visiting our Lifesongs page or emailing

Virtual Concert & Behind the Lifesong

In lieu of the Lifesongs annual live concert, we’ve created a virtual music sharing and conversation series where we’ll premiere songs and learning opportunities on Facebook. Our original live concert was meant to be the first in a series of intimate community concert gatherings sharing songs and stories followed by a facilitated community dialogue. For our Virtual Concerts, we’re inviting audiences to reflect and engage with elders’ stories by commenting or asking questions during and after our premieres. Featured songs will highlight elders’ stories of lifelong learning and the significance of intergenerational co-creation.

Behind the Lifesong will be a how-to experience showing audiences how a Lifesong is made and the steps to initiate and conduct song-writing and story sharing with an intergenerational group either online or in-person.

Story Gathering with Atalaya Elementary School and Santa Fe Care Center  

Story Gathering is an ongoing Lifesongs project that brings youth, community members, and elders together to share stories and life experiences while building relationships across generations, fostering social inclusion for elders, and integrating the wisdom of elders into the community. Participants collaboratively shape stories into new works of writing and art to present to the wider community.

During this time of physical distancing, Story Gathering has continued to exchange stories through mailed letters and creative works. Continuing collaboration has helped both youth and elders feel less socially isolated and more engaged with their communities. Art and writing from youth and elders will be shared on our social media channels through the months of May and July. We invite you to reflect on Story Gathering‘s shared creations and think about ways to stay connected and artistically engage with the elders in your life and community.

We’re also asking our followers and old and new friends to participate in our donation match. The Academy shared one iPad with Santa Fe Care Center last month. We’re asking our friends, followers, and online communities to help us share another iPad with Santa Fe Care. Help us raise $500 to fund a new iPads for elders by clicking here.

Learn more about Lifesongs’ Story Gathering project here .

Ways to Engage

Stay tuned for updates on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and our newsletter!

About Lifesongs

A program of the Academy for the Love of Learning, Lifesongs is an intergenerational arts project and a celebration of the human journey through music, poetry and dance. Lifesongs provides opportunities for meaningful and creative exchange between people of different ages, genders, race and life experiences, fostering communities of care, promoting social inclusion for elders and veterans, and restoring dignity through transformative storytelling.

Working one-on-one with professional Lifesongs artists and in ensembles, participants develop original works that incorporate music, movement, and multimedia to explore the richness of all stages of life. Lifesongs Concerts are the culmination of months of creative collaboration. The songs and stories are performed in a public concert by professional musicians, choirs, and artists of all ages. These concerts are casual and family friendly.

Lifesongs was founded in 2007 by The Santa Fe Opera and Littleglobe under the leadership of Acushla Bastible, Molly Sturges and Andrea Fellows Walters. Our founding partner was Christine Sandoval from the Santa Fe Care Center. In 2011, Lifesongs became a program of the Academy for the Love of Learning and Littleglobe.


Online and social media

Request more information

To learn more about Messages from the Heart: Intergenerational Connections use the form below to contact The Academy.