Students from Sonnesyn Elementary School are presently working with Larry Long to honor the life stories of Beni Persaud, Samuel Wagner Cooke, and Michael Favor in narrative and song. The lyrics to their songs will be illustrated by students and published, as part of the Men of Color Series. Elders’ Wisdom, Chldren’s Song celebration will be held in the Spring, 2015.
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Community Celebration of Place initiated the creation and publishing of twelve story-song books in school year 2013-2014 in partnership with the Minneapolis Public Schools and the West Metro Education Program (WMEP). These books, written and illustrated by youth, honor the cultural diversity of our region through the inspirational life stories of community elders. These works are now being integrated into the yearly curriculum of area schools And made available FREE online.
Men of Color Series
The theme for the 2014-2015 Young Publishers Series is Honoring Men of Color. Art instructors will be drawing from over 75 existing first person narratives and songs—along with new narratives being gathered by students—to create literature that meets multiple lexille levels. Our goal is to create a comprehensive body of student-based literature which celebrates the many faces of our region.
Youth and Elders Circle
“I am because we are”
At the end of each school year Community Celebration of Place hosts an annual Youth and Elders’ Circle. The Youth and Elders Circle brings together elders past and present, who have been honored through Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, to interact with youth and district staff from the region to celebrate our shared work and to further create intergenerational and multicultural opportunities for all students to prosper.
Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song™
Honoring Elders for Over Twenty Years
Over the past twenty years, Community Celebration of Place has honored nearly 1,000 community elders from across the United States and the world in spoken word, song, and art. Alan Lomax, one of the great American field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, once called Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, the “missing link”. That link continues to get stronger with every year.
Thank you to everyone for your years of support. We look forward to the next twenty years!
African American alumnus of Sanford Middle School who chose to serve his country as a Sergeant in the Marines and later became an anesthesiologist.
Music-Film Documentaries Spotlight EWCS Elders
In 2011, 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.
I had the most awesome musical experience of my life—when I heard the fourth grade children at Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion school sing “Your Song” honoring our Elders! One of the elders was my son John. WHAT A SONG!
Thank You, Jack Tschida
News & Events
Sonnesyn Elementary School will host an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration honoring three community elders in their gym on Thursday, February 5, 2015, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM.
The entire American Roots Revue Five-City Legacy Summer Tour ensemble is reuniting to perform at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis on September 14, 2014!
Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center will host a community celebration honoring Dr. Josie R Johnson on Friday, May 23, 2014. Students will be performing a song in honor of Dr. Josie R. Johnson entitled Listen To Each Other Now.
Lawrence A. Brown, age 92, of Golden Valley, MN, passed away on March 14, 2012. A Tuskegee Air Man and State Department Tax Agent, Mr. Brown shared his story with the students at Cityview in 2008. The kids wrote the song, Freedom, Freedom Over Me! to honor Mr. Brown.