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WMEP and MPS Partner in support of Elders' Wisdom

West Metro Education Program (WMEP) and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Partner in support of Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song

Through 2013-2014 school year Community Celebration of Place has been working in partnership with the West Metro Education Program (WMEP) in schools throughout the West Metro and Minneapolis community in the development of Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song. The success of this equity work has culminated in support through Minneapolis Public Schools to organize and oversee integrated development of community and student racial equity leadership development through Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song (EWCS) at Clara Barton Open School, Anishinabe Academy and Sullivan School. This work will culminate in a Youth & Elders Circle at Sullivan School on May 30, 2014, where students will shared the songs they’ve written in honor of their community elders, plus showcase seven story songbooks published through this process.

Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song™

Sanford Middle School Celebration Spring 2013

Minneapolis, MN
May 22, 2013 @ 2:30PM

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. www.mrac.org

Honoring our Elders!

Namgyal Dorjee, President of Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota, being interviewed by Larry Long, Creator of Elders’ Wisdom, Chldren’s Song and Executive Director of Community Celebration of Place.Namgyal Dorjee and Larry Long
Over the past twenty years, Community Celebration of Place has honored nearly 1,000 community elders with youth from throughout the United States and world in spoken word and song. Alan Lomax, one of the great American field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, called Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, the “missing link”.

Thank you for your years of support. We look forward to the next twenty years!

At left: Namgyal Dorjee, President of Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota, being interviewed by Larry Long, Creator of Elders’ Wisdom, Chldren’s Song and Executive Director of Community Celebration of Place.

Honoring our Elders!

Makida Abdulahi

Oromo-Jawi Elder and First Woman to Graduate High School In Her City

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.

Watch the films

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.

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PACERS: Celebrating Appalachian Communities

Throughout Appalachia there are examples of celebrations and festivals that have positive financial outcomes and improved community resilience and well-being. With generous assistance from the Appalachian Regional Commission, PACERS will build upon and expand this tradition by holding in Section (Jackson County) and Camp Hill (Tallapoosa County) comprehensive multi-day workshops that will develop replicable models for community festivals/celebrations while jointly training young people and community members to document their communities through the arts: including music, photography, videography, and graphic design. Workshops will also include sessions on festival/celebration publicity and organizational requirements. Workshops—beginning in August, 2011—will be two to three day events and will set the foundation for a local celebration. They will be preceded and followed by school-based opportunities for students to undertake community documentation and celebration projects (e.g. photo essays, music or video CD's). Students and PACERS chapter will be provided with appropriate technology with professional support for its application.

Workshop leaders will include Dr. Jay Lamar, Director of the Center for Arts and Humanities (as well as other professionals associated with the center); Larry Long, creator of Elders Wisdom Childrens Song; Andrew Goetz, nationally recognized photographer (www.goetzphoto.com); Fred Fluker, graphic designer, and Dr. Jennifer Adams, Director of the Journalism Program Auburn University. Local teachers, musicians, and other community members will also participate in the workshops and in school settings.

Featured Partners of EWCS

The mission of the West Metro Education Program (WMEP) is to build the collective capacity of its members; to raise the achievement of all students; to eliminate the racial achievement gap; and to prepare all learners to thrive in a diverse world through regional leadership, integrated learning opportunities, shared resources, and mutual support.

EWCS South Dakota works with elementary schools in the communities of Custer and Spearfish. Every year they work with students to honor elders in their communities.

Learn more

Recent Testimonials

Dear Mister Larry Long,

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! Is there sheet music available for the song honoring John Tschida? I would appreciate any information you could send me. Thank You, Jack Tschida

Read more

In the News

Larry Long’s American Roots Revue celebrates in story and song the many nations of people who now call this country home.

Forest Elementary School will host a community celebration honoring Dr. Connie Grumdahl on Friday, December 6, 2013 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

On Tuesday, July 9th, the world lost a beloved cornerstone of the traditional music world: Toshi-Aline Ohta Seeger, aged 91. Toshi was the wife of Pete Seeger and passed away just a few days shy of their 70th Wedding Anniversary.

Now Available

Executive Director Larry Long has released his latest album, Don't Stand Still, which has several songs created through the EWCS program, including Tibet, Be Kind to All That Live and Butterflies Dancing. The CD is now available for sale on Larry Long's website, and all proceeds go directly to help support Community Celebration of Place and EWCS. More info...

In Memoriam

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.

Learn more about Lawrence Brown

Teacher Resources

We've compiled all the songs and stories from the celebrations for the 2006-2007 school year into two songbooks, and are excited to offer them free to download from our site: