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Strengthening the People’s Music Network during the Pandemic

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

©2017-2021 People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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