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  • 03/28/2020 12:24 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    Register for a Performance Slot

    PMN Members are invited to share a song or a poem during the April 3 Online Song and Poetry Swap.  To perform, you must first register using this link: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/event-3801457.   The 20 or so PMN members who are selected to perform will receive an e-mail midweek next week with a link to PMN's Zoom video conference account.  Everyone performs through their own computer connection through the Zoom platform.  When you register, there is a chance to upload your song's lyrics to help those of us who are singing along with you at home (while our mics are all on mute).

    Eligibility to Perform

    Performers in this swap must:

    1) be PMN members in good standing* 

    2) register using this form

    3) have a computer with a video camera.**

    * If you are not a PMN member, you may join here: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/join-PMN

    **Using your computer's built in mic with Zoom's default audio settings is sufficient to participate and be heard.  The sound of a person singing normally comes across on Zoom somewhat better than a telephone.  However, Zoom's default audio compression filters, which effectively reduce background noise, also distort the frequencies of musical instruments.  Using a headset with a built in mic will focus the sound of your voice, because it puts the mic closer to your mouth, but it won't improve the audio quality of instruments.  Fortunately, it is possible to significantly improve the audio quality of both voice and instruments by using an external USB mic or a USB audio interface device.  Once you have the hardware in place, there is a setting in Zoom called, "enable original sound", which removes Zoom's default audio compression.  Enabling original sound within the Zoom software may also improve audio quality for mics built in to computers.  Learning these tools helps improve the sound of your performance.  Please see here for a useful tutorial on changing the audio settings in Zoom for music

    The public Tunes in to the Broadcast via Facebook Live

    Anyone may tune in to this program at no cost, via Facebook Live.  Just go to PMN's Facebook page at about 7:30pm on Friday, March 27, and scroll down to find the livestream. Here is PMN's Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Peoples.Music.Network/

    The Topic

    In this video conference event, PMN members are invited to share songs or poems on the topic of “What we need to hear during a Pandemic".  We need songs about the injustices that exacerbate the dangers of this pandemic (e.g., a healthcare system that prioritizes profits over people, the economic precarity of the working class, and the systemic incompetence and inhumanity of our government).  We also need songs about the crises that are upon us with or without a pandemic (racism, the climate crisis, sexual violence, the scourge of prisons, and more).  Finally, we need songs that brighten our lives in the stressful and uncertain times we're living through.

    Performer List

    To be announced.

    A Note on Selection

    Every PMN member wishing to perform at this event should register, but priority will be given to PMN members that have not yet performed in an online song swap.  We plan to hold these song swap events regularly, so anticipate more opportunities. 

    Help Publicize!

    Tell your friends how they can tune into this online musical event for progressive culture.  Share this event on Facebook: (coming soon!)


  • 03/23/2020 11:20 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    Tune in to the Broadcast via Facebook Live

    Anyone may tune in to this program at no cost, via Facebook Live.  Just go to PMN's Facebook page at about 7:30pm on Friday, March 27, and scroll down to find the livestream. Here is PMN's Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Peoples.Music.Network/

    The Topic

    In this video conference event, PMN members are invited to share songs or poems on the topic of “What we need to hear during a Pandemic".  We need songs about the injustices that exacerbate the dangers of this pandemic (e.g., a healthcare system that prioritizes profits over people, the economic precarity of the working class, and the systemic incompetence and inhumanity of our government).  We also need songs about the crises that are upon us with or without a pandemic (racism, the climate crisis, sexual violence, the scourge of prisons, and more).  finally, we need songs that brighten our lives in the stressful and uncertain times we're living through.

    Performer List

    1) 7:35 PM – Ben Grosscup (Greenfield, MA)  "Let's Build a Socialist System"
    2) 7:40 PM – Barbara Gardiner (Davidson, NC)  "Your Money or My Life"
    3) 7:45 PM – Verne McArthur (Springfield, MA)  "Love Is The Water"
    4) 7:50 PM – Susan Rogers (Takoma Park, MD)  "Hit the Road Trump (parody of Ray Charles Hit the Road Jack)"
    5) 7:55 PM – Distinguished Professor & Doctor ELYAS ISAACS PHD DPH DCJC MD (NYC, NY)  "KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE WITH EXTRA ORIGINAL VERSE"
    6) 8:00 PM – Richard Johnson (Springfield, MA)  "Untitled Poem"
    7) 8:05 PM – Alison Frost (Truxton, NY)  "There's No Crisis to Waste"
    8) 8:10 PM – Will Fudeman (Ithaca, NY)  "It Isn't Nice"
    9) 8:15 PM – Jendog Lonewolf (NYC, )  "State of the Whirled"
    10) 8:20 PM – Terry Kitchen (Boston, MA)  "Life Is Hard Enough"
    11) 8:25 PM – Charlie King (SHELBURNE FALLS, MA)  "You Can Never Fail"
    12) 8:30 PM – Lydia Davis (Beacon, NY)  "A Tribute To Steve Goodman (Can we start over again)"
    13) 8:35 PM – Dave Gott (, )  "Safe Sheltered Place"
    14) 8:40 PM – Paul Goldman (Marlborough, MA)  "Half A Moon"
    15) 8:45 PM – Colleen Kattau (Cortland, NY)  "Raiz or Who am i to run"
    16) 8:50 PM – Ryc Ward (Rosendale, NY)  "The People Song"
    17) 8:55 PM – Jenny Amanda Hurwitz (New York, NY)  "Will Decide"
    18) 9:00 PM – David Tarlo (Brooklyn, NY)  "How Can I Keep from Singing"
    19) 9:05 PM – Paul McKenna (Corvallis, OR)  "Six Feet Apart"
    20) 9:10 PM – Luci Murphy (Washington, DC)  "TBA"
    21) 9:15 PM – Alan Cohen (Washington, DC)  "The Preacher and the Slave by Joe Hill"
    22) 9:20 PM – Bev Grant (, )  "The Corona Virus Covid 19 Blues"
    23) 9:25 PM – Joel Landy (NYC, NY)  "The Spaces In Between"
    24) 9:30 PM – Steve Suffet (NYC, NY)  "This Might Be the Last Time"

    Waitlist 1)  – Steve Siegelbaum (, )  "Rise Up And Resist"
    Waitlist 2)  – robert brashear (NYC, NY)  "TBA"
    Waitlist 3)  – Dada Veda (Urbana, IL)  "I'm Waiting For That Time"

    A Note on Selection

    Every PMN member wishing to perform at this event should register, but priority will be given to PMN members that have not yet performed in an online song swap.  We plan to hold these song swap events regularly, so anticipate more opportunities. 

    Register for a Performance Slot

    PMN Members may register to share a song or a poem during this online event, using this link: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/event-3798641.  The 20 or so PMN members who are selected to perform will receive an e-mail with a link to PMN's Zoom video conference account.  Everyone performs through their own computer connection. 

    Eligibility to Perform

    Performers in this swap must:

    1) be PMN members in good standing* 

    2) register using this form

    3) have a computer with a video camera.**

    * If you are not a PMN member, you may join here: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/join-PMN

    ** A built in computer mic is sufficient to participate and be heard.  However, chances are that the audio quality will be mediocre, especially for instruments.  Zoom is designed to carry the human voice in online meetings, but its default audio compression filters are poorly suited for musical instruments.  A simple tool that modestly increases the audio quality of the human voice is using a headset with a built in mic.  This will not make instruments sounds good, however.  It is possible to significantly improve the audio quality of both voice and instruments if you use an external USB mic or a USB audio interface device.  Once you have this hardware in place, there are a few settings you can easily change within zoom to optimize the sound of your performance.  Please see here for a useful tutorial on that 


    Help Publicize!

    Tell your friends how they can tune into this online musical event for progressive culture.  Share this event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/584521625473585


  • 03/17/2020 12:38 AM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    ONLINE PMN MEMBER EVENT 
    Song and Poetry Swap via Live Video Conference 
    Topic: “Songs we need to hear during a Pandemic"
    Friday, March 20, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

    EVERYONE will connect to the video conference by using this link: https://zoom.us/j/2671001643

    Time: Friday, March 20, 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

    Calendar icon in black Free Icon   Add a reminder for this event to my calendar.

    The Plan

    Anyone can listen to the performances by clicking the link above.  Everyone will be muted upon entering the video conference. I will only un-mute people to sing one at a time in the order of the Performer Line Up listed below.  We need to keep conversation on the conference to a minimum so as not to create a muddy audio signal.  Use the "chat" function to share comments plus technical questions.

    We will record the performances and post the video to the PMN Facebook page after the swap. For people wanting to listen to the swap live, you can share the zoom link above.  PMN is limited to 100 participants total.  After the registered performers are done singing and declaiming, all are invited to stick around and share quick ideas about what we can do during the pandemic to strengthen the People's Music Network.

    Topic for March 20

    In this video conference event, PMN members are invited to share songs or poems on the topic of “What we need to hear during a Pandemic".  We invite people to share songs about healthcare justice, overcoming social isolation, solidarity, and calling out the systemic incompetence and inhumanity of a government that prioritizes profits and perception over people’s lives. However, any songs which brighten our lives in these stressful times are welcome.

    Performer Line Up: FRIDAY, March 20 

    FRIDAY, March 20 Line Up

    1) 7:35 PM  –Ben Grosscup, "When I Feel Most Free"
    2) 7:40 PM  –Bev Grant, "We Are Your Refugees"
    3) 7:45 PM  –robert brashear, "Listen"
    4) 7:50 PM  –CANCELLED
    5) 7:55 PM  –Steve Suffet, "On My Long Journey Home"
    6) 8:00 PM  –CANCELLED
    7) 8:05 PM  –Louise Hetzler, "Take Care of the Planet"
    8) 8:10 PM  –David & Jenny Heitler-Klevans, "Strength Inside"
    9) 8:15 PM  –Marc Hecker, "They Call the Wind Maria"
    10) 8:20 PM  –Dada Veda, "It Takes a Caring Heart"
    11) 8:25 PM  –Joanie Calem, "Blues Lite"
    12) 8:30 PM  –CANCELLED
    13) 8:35 PM  –Barry Oreck, "No Place to Run"
    14) 8:40 PM  –Fred Arcoleo, "All That It Takes"
    15) 8:45 PM  –David Roth, "Looking For More Kindness in This World"
    16) 8:50 PM  –Sally Campbell, "Slow Down"
    17) 8:55 PM  –Sandy Pliskin, "Hats & Mittens"
    18) 9:00 PM  –Joel Landy, "Isolation Row"
    19) 9:05 PM  –Steve Siegelbaum, "Course Correction"
    20) 9:10 PM –Pat Lamanna, "SAINT PATRICK’S DAY PANDEMIC"
    21) 9:15 PM  –Tobie Hoffman, "Blessing to Blessing"

    In this video conference event, PMN members are invited to share songs or poems on the topic of “What we need to hear during a Pandemic".  We have particularly invited people to share songs about healthcare justice, overcoming social isolation, solidarity, and calling out the systemic incompetence and inhumanity of a government that prioritizes profits and perception over people’s lives. However, any songs which brighten our lives in these stressful times are welcome.

    To share a song, you must:

    1) be a PMN member* 

    2) register for the event

    3) have a computer with a video camera.  

    * If you are not a PMN member, you may join here: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/join-PMN

    Future Swaps

    Soon PMN will be organizing additional swaps, although that depends partly on the response to this first effort.  I will inform PMN members about next steps.  Theoretically, there is an unlimited number of song and poetry swaps that we could be organizing.  But how will we do it?  What formats and topics will keep people invested in continuing to share progressive culture in collaborative ways despite the pandemic?  Can we build a participatory model that involves new leadership?  Let's work together and let's learn together!  

  • 03/17/2020 12:19 AM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    How can the transformative power of music lift up people’s spirits and inspire movements for justice in the face of a global pandemic? 

    The People’s Music Network annual Summer Gathering is scheduled from June 12-14, 2020 at the Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA.  Large groups singing together face-to-face is what makes PMN Gatherings so exciting and inspiring.  During this particular pandemic, it also endangers people’s health.  

    PMN is considering how to move forward in this crisis, with our mission in mind: sustaining and growing a diverse community of performing artists, activists and allies that uses music, poetry, and other forms of cultural work as catalysts for a just and peaceful world.  As we assess our options, the PMN Steering Committee will continue to communicate with our members about our decision making for this year’s Summer Gathering.

    For decades, PMN has sustained our community primarily by hosting major gatherings.  In recent years, we’ve also developed ideas for programs to sustain our community through online platforms.  In response to this crisis, we’re reviving our exploration of how these ideas can help us fulfill our mission right now.  Confronting this challenge is new for PMN and just about everyone else, but we have the capacity to work together, learn, and develop new strategies.


    Your Input is Needed 

    We're interested in collaborating with our PMN community to maintain and strengthen the network even while many of us maintain physical distance from groups to protect ourselves and others.  Here are additional activities we think PMN could focus on during this period, especially with the engagement of a focused team of volunteers:

    • Song Contest for new social justice songs, each with a topical focus.
    • Songwriting prompt followed by sharing what we write.
    • Compiling a list of PMN members who are holding online concerts and collaborating with other organizations to promote them. One new resource is: www.stayathomefest.com
    • Webinar: How independent working musicians can earn a living in a pandemic. One new resource is:  www.covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com
    • Webinar: Tips and Tricks for Home Audio Recording.

    What are your ideas for how the People’s Music Network can strengthen our community while making music for social change during this pandemic?  Please write to us at pmn@peoplesmusic.org  with your own ideas and how you could help organize these or other types of activities.

    Signed in song and solidarity,

    Ben Grosscup, Executive Director
    Tobie Hoffman, President
    Charlie King, Treasurer


  • 01/19/2020 11:19 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    Check out the full workshop program for the People's Music Network Winter Convergence in NYC from Jan 24-26, 2020: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/Winter-Gathering-Workshops


  • 12/11/2019 4:10 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)
    This story features images from the event courtesy of Bev Grant and Jeremy Aaron.

          If you were with us on October 20 for the one-day PMN Fall Convergence at the People’s Forum in NYC, you know what a success it was!  We had 100 registered participants for this one-day local event -- one of the most diverse in PMN’s recent history (See the livestream of the open mic here).  

          The same creative and dynamic NYC Local Organizing Committee that hosted the 2019 Fall Convergence is now busy planning the 2020 PMN Winter Convergence -- a full weekend of musical inspiration at two locations in NYC from January 24-26, 2020 that will draw hundreds of participants from around the Northeast U.S. and beyond.  

    Why Call it a “Convergence”? 
          For years PMN has held Gatherings: weekend-long events with music rooted in struggles for justice and peace.  The NYC Organizing Committee believes that in this moment of global crisis, the role of the People’s Music Network is to help our members join forces -- both musically and politically -- to help inspire and encourage the movements we are part of.  In response, The organizing committee is creating a number of workshop tracks in order to bring together different communities of activist musicians with whom PMN is building ever stronger alliances: 

    1. Activist Choral Music 
    2. Hip Hop
    3. Latin Music and Nueva Cancion

          The elements that many members have come to love about past  PMN Gatherings -- the eclectic Friday night concert; song swaps; jamming; Round Robin; skill sharing; songwriting workshops; shared meals; homestay placements in NYC; Songs of the Spirit; and, we hope, you -- will all be part of this Winter Convergence

    PMN Winter Convergence:
    Musical Collaboration for Global Justice
    @two different locations in NYC
    January 24-26, 2020

    Early Registration opens December 12, 2019. 




    Friday, Jan. 24:  A Concert Bridging Different Generations of Struggle, Musical Styles, and Communities

    The People's Forum -- 320 West 37th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues), NYC
        The show will feature musical performances by the Sing in Solidarity Chorus, Mario Cancel, Jendog Lonewolf, their artistic collaborators, and others.  

    Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25-26: Workshops and Song Sharing
    Central Park East II School -- 433 East 100th Street, NYC
         We are delighted to be back at Central Park East II for the second year in a row!  The Saturday workshop program will highlight the distinctiveness of particular musical forms and traditions.  The evening Round Robin will draw shine to the individual talents and contributions of our diverse community. The Sunday morning Sessions will offer different ways for the community to integrate distinct musical forms into a louder, more united, and more powerful cultural force.  

    *** Propose a Workshop
          To propose a specific workshop for this upcoming Convergence, consider these Guidelines.  Then you can fill out this Workshop Proposal Form.  Deadline for workshop proposals is December 15, 2019.


  • 12/11/2019 4:09 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    PMN Summer Gathering 
    Deerfield, MA, Woolman Hill Retreat Center
    June 12-14, 2020

          After taking a one year break from organizing a Summer Gathering this past Summer, People’s Music Network is bringing our Summer Gathering to the Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA in 2020.  An organizing committee is being formed to plan the event -- everything from the logistics of housing and food to the planning of the program. Expect a number of new ideas for activities designed to strengthen the ties of PMN Members and allies to be announced soon. Meanwhile, save the date!

  • 06/18/2019 4:38 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    The 2020 People’s Music Network Winter Gathering will take place in New York City from January 24-26, 2020. It includes:

    • Music to inspire dreams for a better world.
    • Traditions that strengthen social justice struggles.
    • A community where singers, listeners, songwriters, fans, are welcome in a common space.

    The location for the PMN Friday Night Concert, starting at 7:30pm on January 24, 2020, is yet to be announced. 

    On Saturday and Sunday (January 25 & 26, 2020) at Central Park East II in East Harlem (enter from First Avenue and East 101st Street), we’ll have participatory workshops and song swaps, mentoring sessions, and a Saturday night Round Robin – all highlighting the role of music in progressive social change. A specific track of workshops for youth called the Youth Creative Convergence will take place parallel to the adult workshop. Expect numerous opportunities to share music, sing together, and to join efforts to bring music for progressive social change into the heart of struggles for justice and freedom today.

  • 03/07/2019 7:50 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    This year is the 100th anniversary of Pete Seeger’s birth. Pete was born on May 3, 1919, in New York City. He died on Jan. 27, 2014. Pete and Toshi made a huge impact on our world - working tirelessly together for peace, justice, and the earth. At age 19 Pete dropped out of Harvard and began using music to work for change and he never looked back.

    A series of concerts taking place all over the United States will celebrate Pete’s life and inspire audiences to continue carrying on this important work! Find an up to date event listing compiled by Peter Blood at https://www.riseupandsing.org/seeger/100th/events


  • 03/07/2019 7:16 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    The video recordings from the performances at the January 25, 2019 Friday evening Concert and the January 26, 2019 Round Robin are posted online! 

    Watch the videos here.

    Special thanks to Jasper Lapienski who organized the video recording and did the editing and cataloging work!  Thank also to the volunteers who ran the video equipment and gathered the information about each performance.

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