Elders’ Wisdom, Children's Song™ is an intergenerational program created by Smithsonian Folkways recording artist and social justice advocate Larry Long, director of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Community Celebration of Place. Working with young people in schools throughout the nation Larry has generated an unparalleled collection of life stories of American elders in both song and narrative.
I Will Be Your Friend is a new sound recording produced by Larry Long through Teaching Tolerance of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Over 200,000 kits are being given out free throughout North America to elementary schools and teachers, religious and community centers and other organizations serving children in the younger grades.
Larry Long worked in South Africa through a grant from the U.S. State Department. While there, Larry held a collective writing workshop with students, migrant workers and union stewards, worked with youth choirs from the townships of St. Wendolin’s and Chester, and held two performances at the Awesome Africa Festival at the Swanimi Reserve. Awesome Africa features popular and traditional singers throughout the continent of Africa.
Larry Long founded the Mississippi River Revival, a campaign to clean-up the Mississippi River. With his voice and guitar Larry organized communities from the head waters at Lake Itasca to Dubuque, Iowa. Through this period Larry produced over twenty river festivals, hauled hundreds of tons of trash out of the river with community volunteers along the upper Mississippi River, worked with Governor Perpich to create the clean rivers movement in Minnesota, and traveled the length of the Mississippi River with Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theater.
Twenty years ago the very first hometown tribute for Woody Guthrie was recorded live at the Crystal Theatre in Okemah, Oklahoma, on December 1, 1988. Organized by Larry Long with the help and guidance of the people and children of Okemah, it was the culmination of a three-year residency.