The Academy hosts concerts and gatherings throughout the year. All of our events foster creativity and facilitate conversations centered on reflection, transformation, and “learning ourselves” into a better world.
Messages from the Heart
In 2020, Lifesongs shared Messages from the Heart: Intergenerational Connections, a virtual empathy project inviting all people to co-create, imagine, and learn with elders in their communities during physical distancing and beyond. We premiered music and learning opportunities on Facebook and our website. Watch the full series on our Facebook playlist here.
“We Never Stop Growing” A Lifesong created and performed by the Lifesongs Community Ensemble with Nathan Dunton.
Behind the Lifesong with Acushla Bastible and Vanessa Torres McGovern, a video how-to experience showing audiences how a Lifesong is made and sharing ideas for anyone interested in creating and sustaining meaningful intergenerational exchange.
Learn how to create an intergenerational songwriting and story sharing experience in Behind the Lifesong with Lifesongs Director and Co-Founder Acushla Bastible and artist Vanessa Torres McGovern.
Posted by Academy for the Love of Learning on Saturday, June 27, 2020
“You and Me, Forever and Always” A Lifesong created in collaboration with elder Gloria and performed by Martha Reich Braden with support from Vanessa Torres McGovern.
Past Live Events
Mind & Life Institute Conversation
October 31st, 2019
Mind & Life Institute Conversation on Compassion, Interconnection, and Transformation featuring the Dalai Lama in conversation with Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
- Description: Aaron Stern moderated a Mind & Life Institute Conversation on Compassion, Interconnection, and Transformation featuring the Dalai Lama in conversation with Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a clinical psychologist and social scientist and Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa. Conversation explored how contemplative wisdom and science can better inform our knowledge of human nature and what it takes to inspire caring and action for our collective future.
- Speakers and Facilitator:
- Facilitator: Aaron Stern, Academy Founder and President
- Speaker: Dalai Lama
- Speaker: Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a clinical psychologist and social scientist and Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa
Future of Learning Dialogue
October 15th, 2019
The Future of Learning Dialogue: Learning in Community
- Description: The Future of Learning Dialogue: Learning in Community featured Academy Founder and President Aaron Stern in conversation with writer, political activist, and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem and conversation moderator Tannia Esparza. The dialogue explored learning as a human experience connecting us with our sense of purpose and personal truth. Through interactive inquiry and conversation, we discussed ways we can teach each other how to live in the world together. Gloria, informed by a long-standing history of clear seeing, wise thought and activism, entered the dialogue with Aaron, a leader who has spent a lifetime exploring and sharing learning as an ever-deepening path for connecting to our selves, each other, and the larger world, asking: How do we deepen our pathways to intimacy and understanding, so that we can learn together in the ways that we have forgotten? Gloria and Aaron’s conversation begins a series of dialogues that will reclaim learning as a practice that connects humans with their sense of self, agency, and sovereignty. We will perhaps learn our way to becoming better at being human beings. Join us in conversation #TheFutureofLearning and #TheLearningSpirit
- Speakers and Facilitator:
- Speaker: Aaron Stern, Academy Founder and President
- Speaker: Gloria Steinem, writer, political activist, and feminist organizer
- Moderator: Tannia Esparza
August 25th, 2019
Bearing Witness: The Academy’s Annual Leonard Bernstein Concert
- Description: Bearing Witness explored the themes of Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony through a communal viewing and facilitated conversation. We experienced live multi-media and opera performances of all three movements of the symphony, 1. Prophecy (warning), 2. Profanation (desecration), and 3. Lamentation. These movements served as inquiry points into Bernstein’s question “Don’t We Never Learn?!” and Stern’s answer – that “As human beings, we have the capacity to transform both individually and collectively.” After experiencing the symphony, Aaron Stern facilitated group conversation and was joined by Hakim Bellamy. We shared reflection and conversation with the hashtags #ReflectintoAction, #ExpressInspiration, #SetonCastleLive, and #LBFellowship.
- Performers, Facilitators, and Creators :
Lenny's Living Legacy
August 25th, 2018
Lenny’s Living Legacy: A Concert Celebration
- Description: Academy President and Founder Aaron Stern celebrates the anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with an afternoon concert featuring special works from Bernstein’s repertoire (vocal, orchestral, and solo instrumental), along with stories of Aaron’s time spent with Lenny (as he knew him) and stories of his personhood and musicianship. Charlie Harmon, Lenny’s last musical assistant, will also read from his new book on his time as Bernstein’s assistant.
- Kathlene Ritch, Soprano
- Tychiko Cox, Baritone
- Barbara Bogatin, Cello
- Grisha Krivchenia, Piano
- Charlie Harmon, Author
Don't We Never Learn: Part I and II
May 20th, 2018
Don’t We Never Learn: Part II: Learning and Transformation
April 29th, 2018
Don’t We Never Learn: Part I: Trouble in Tahiti
- Description: A two-part series of dialogues, Don’t We Never Learn celebrated the Academy’s 20th anniversary while reflecting on our past and exploring our emerging transformation. Dialogues explored the question that most occupied Lenny (as Aaron knew Leonard Bernstein) in the last decade of his life: “Don’t we never learn?”, and Aaron’s deep conviction that indeed we do learn: we transform, and become better at being human. Part 1: Trouble in Tahiti gathered community for a screening of Leonard Bernstein’s one-act opera ‘Trouble in Tahiti’, followed by a conversation focused on how this masterpiece relates directly to today’s times. Central to our inquiry will be the question “Don’t we never learn?” and Aaron’s deep conviction that indeed we do learn: we transform, and become better at being human. Part II: Learning and Transformation was a shared conversation with Academy President and Founder Aaron Stern and Dr. Richie Davidson, Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds focused on what we are learning about the transformative impact of the Academy’s work.
- Academy Founder and President Aaron Stern
- Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds Dr. Richie Davidson