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Music and Poetry in Response to Buffalo and Uvalde
Last Sunday's Healing and Uplifting Event outside Community Market
Poet Raphael Block organized this fundraising event last week that brought together local musicians and poets in sorrow and joy. He shared the following report.
Last Sunday, June 12th, poets and musicians got together to offer a healing and uplifting event in response to the Buffalo and Uvalde tragedies. Our event took place outside Community Market, Sebastopol, and was also a fundraiser for SandyHookPromise.org. Many people were particularly touched by Sonoma County Youth Poet Laureate, Ella Wen’s sharing of “what we learned as kids.” The music included upbeat reggae from I-Ray, a soulful Hoytus Rolen with violin accompaniment, and members of Joyful Noise, among others. Performers and participants were touched by each other’s offerings.
What else made this event stand out from the plethora of local talent on offer weekly at the Barlow and other venues? I believe the intention of all the performers who gave of themselves completely freely, and of those who chose to attend⎯to feel our pain and grief at these almost incomprehensible tragedies, and, at the same time, to celebrate our spirit and strength of renewal. All twelve groups of performers touched on both sorrow and joy. One audience participant said, “It’s unusual to come together with our feelings of grief. Usually, I’m stuck on my own with them.” We ended the event with a circle of people holding hands and singing, “We Shall Overcome.”
As the Sandy Hook Promise says, “Our hearts are broken; our spirit is not. This is a promise we make to our precious children. Because each child, every human life is filled with promise, and though we continue to be filled with unbearable pain, we choose love, belief, and hope instead of anger.” Please consider making a donation to SandyHookPromise.org.