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Archiving Life Stories of Community Elders
Through a curriculum called Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, elders have been brought into public schools for over thirty years to share their life stories with students. Over one thousand of these life stories have been recorded and honored by youth in song! Here are just a few:
Childhood in a Japanese-American internment camp
Fleeing war in Somalia
Becoming an Anishinabe Ojibwe
Fighting in the Battle of the Bulge (WWII)
HELP US PRESERVE OUR SHARED HISTORY!
Much of this collection is under immediate threat of deterioration. We need your help to transfer this rich collection into archival quality for future community members, activists, educators and researchers is now! Visit GiveMN and learn how you can help keep these stories alive!
“I’m honored to be a contributor and hoping that others will come to the fore.... It’s imperative that these archives be made available to inspire others.”
—Peter Yarrow, Peter, Paul and Mary
Books, written and illustrated by students, tell the stories shared by elders of many cultures. They teach our children the varied and multi-colored stories of our neighbors while expanding their writing, art and social studies skills.
Our goal is to create a comprehensive body of student-based literature celebrating the many faces of our region. Through your support we will bring this knowledge and experience to more schools.
Community Celebration of Place needs to raise $5000 to continue this program for 2016. We need you! Visit our page at GiveMN to learn how you can help.
Celebrating and elevating the stories of Latino friends and elders through a process of listening, reading, speaking and writing in the Spanish language.
Darle Honor Ana Matos
Darle Honor Orlando Reyes
En honor de Hebierto Vargas
Darle Honor Sra. Guerrero
Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song: Honoring Men of Color
Community Celebration of Place explored new creative processes in development of this year’s theme, Honoring Men of Color. Our students were young men of color who had the opportunity to hear and honor Elders Edgar Young Jr., David Branch and Reverend Richard Coleman at Lucy Craft Laney Community School.
The entire creative process was captured by innovative filmmaker ADDAM in “Honoring Men of Color: Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song.”
Music-Film Documentaries Spotlight EWCS Elders
Community Celebration of Place and filmmaker David McDonald teamed up to produce two music-film documentaries about EWCS Elders Gyatsho Tshering and Helen Tsuchiya. "Tibet" and "Be Kind to All That Live" feature each elder's honor song, photographs and interviews surrounding their stories. Both songs are featured on Executive Director Larry Long's album, Don't Stand Still.
The Youth Voices Music Project
“Since I was young, at an early age, no one seemed to care what I had to say. If they only knew what we’ve been through, they would say, oh my god, what can I do?”
The above excerpt is from “Freedom,” a song written and recorded by two young girls imprisoned in a children’s detention center, with the help of Larry Long.
During the Spring of 2010, the SPLC worked in collaboration with youth from the Gulf Coast Region and professional musicians to use music to give a voice to these children’s realities, hopes and dreams. Through the SPLC Youth Voices Music Project, over a few short days, these children wrote, sang and recorded seven original songs. The children demonstrate remarkable gifts and talents, as well as profound depth and thoughtfulness about life as a child in the Deep South in their music and lyrics.
Helen Tsuchiya passed away at the age of 92 on February 4, 2017. As she shared with young people about her Japanese-American Internment experience in World War II, "When you think about it, it’s my parents who really suffered. Now I want to share my story with the children so it will never happen again." In return the children honored her in song.
Helen Tsuchiya’s Memorial Service will be held at February 12, 2017 at the Thomson-Dougherty Mansion (2535 Park Avenue, Mpls, MN) at 5:00 PM.
Save Our History!
Thank you for your many contributions on Give to the Max Day.
We can not do this work without you.
My heartfelt thanks to Larry Long and all the voices from which our history continues to generate encouragement, enthusiasm and wisdom.
Arlo Guthrie, Songwriter, Son of Woody Guthrie
News & Events
Community Celebration of Place is partnering with Little Free Library on Saturday, May 21, in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the first-ever Little Free Library Festival.
Join highly acclaimed author Kent Nerburn and Larry Long, Executive Director of Community Celebration of Palce for an evening of songs, stories and music.
During 2016, it is a primary program of Community Celebration of Place to transfer their collection into archives that will be open to the public for generations to come.