In less than two weeks, on February 24th at 7:30, the Thoreau Way Ensemble will present their debut concert fundraiser at the First Parish Church in Sudbury, at 327 Concord Rd. Sudbury, MA. The idea for this concert was literally conceived the morning after the election, when I along with millions of other people woke up from what seemed like a nightmare, but wasn't.
I received an email that morning from a friend of my sister, and acquaintance of mine, a fiercely strong woman who runs a wonderful non-profit called Neighbor to Neighbor. In this email, Elena Letona pointed out that while the election had devastated our communities, and deepened schisms amongst us, our fight for the common good was a long-term project. Now was the time to answer the pain of the election with positive action. I felt a tiny flicker of renewed courage in a swamp of despair. As Elena stated, "No hay mal que por bien no venga." (There is no misfortune which does not come with something good.)
Knowing the power of culture to heal the soul, I had the idea to organize concerts that would provide a respite for people tired and demoralized by the endless stream of terrible news, while also giving them the opportunity to be part of some meaningful action - fundraising together for a common progressive cause. I reached out to like-minded friends and colleagues who all without hesitation wanted to be a part of this project.
I know I'm not alone in watching our political situation deteriorating for decades and feeling like a helpless activist wannabe. Now it feels like we have no choice but to take action. We all see what's at stake, and many of us are learning what it means to make the sacrifices necessary to resist what we know is wrong and does not represent our country. Things like the Muslim Ban. The proposed dismantling of the Affordable Care Act. The confirmation of the GOP benefactor and shockingly unqualified Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. The denial of climate change. And on and on ...
And I've been watching and participating as millions of us take real action in response to it: The Women's March. The airport demonstrations and march on Copley Square to protest the Muslim Ban. We are making phone calls to our congresspeople both at the state and federal level to express our views (perhaps the most critically important thing to do!) This is our silver lining. We now know what it means to make our voices heard and to take action. It may not be convenient, it takes up time we probably don't have, and makes our lives more frantic to schedule in an act of resistance. But we know how much is at stake and what might happen if we do nothing at all.
They say that music soothes the soul like nothing else. It is my hope that our concert featuring the works of Dvorak, Martinu, and Gershwin will help heal our souls, reconnect us with our humanity, and raise a ton of money for our target organization (this time) the ACLU. For more information on the critical work of this organization, click here.
Thank you for your support! We hope to see you there!
Founder of the Thoreau Way Ensemble