citizen artist

Legacy by Melanie Ida Chopko

Inauguration Day Sing Along - Songs of Justice & Resilience

Inauguration Day Sing Along - Songs of Justice & Resilience

What a privilege to be a part of the legacy of artists rising up and singing truth to power this weekend at the Freight. I'm so, so proud of you, Beatriz Roxanna Martinez, and your first formal performance, and beyond grateful to Carl Oser, Joyous Dawn and Kele Nitoto for joining me in this.

As we sang: Arise, Arise! I see the future in your eyes.

Singing In the Dark. (inauguration day sing-along) by Melanie Ida Chopko

Like many of you since the election, I've toggled between fear, acceptance, revulsion and awe. And, I'm recommitting to living where my feet are, listening and acting from my center, and embracing the ride of "hope in the dark":

Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists adopt the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting.  Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act....We may not, in fact, know [the impact of our actions] afterwards either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone. - Rebecca Solnit

And I don't know anything better to do than to sing to that, sing through that. On Inauguration Day, I'm honored open for Ladysmith Black Mambazo, with my project The Justice & Resilience Pop-Up Choir. Please come and sing with us, instead of thinking too much alone at home. (You can also stay after for Ladysmith, but scoop your tickets ASAP.)

Also starting January 11th is another volume of Singing Outside the Shower. I remember just two records in my house growing up: Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life and Carole King's Tapestry. I'm so happy to feature her songwriting genius in this class, and supporting adults to be happy, creative, empowered beginners.

In the meantime, singout to this, a stunning, updated National Anthem by my dear friend Jean Rohe. Yup, you can let yourself cry.

World House by Melanie Ida Chopko

Maybe, our mass mobilization and epic social movement starts NOW instead of after the inauguration. I find this electoral college petition below very interesting and possible.

BUT also ESSENTIAL, Dr.King and Ghandi's insight on how to transform the oppressor: "We will meet your physical force with soul force...We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we so will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process." There is no basement where we could banish these other voters.

A la  Michael Moore. analysis, I think we need wider left that stands by the Midwest and rural America, acknowledging their gaping economic and social wounds that was so mad at Washington they voted "an outsider" in. A spiritual irony, I know, to extend compassion also to people with privilege. But I think we need a movement that looks deeply into racism and sexism to see the frustration and sorrow of the white oppressor, which if unaddressed at the root, spirals out of control. This is a "world house."

The whole King quote, stunning: "I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say:”We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws and abide by the unjust system, because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good, so throw us in jail and we will still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and, as difficult as it is, we will still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight hour and drag us out on some wayside road and leave us half-dead as you beat us, and we will still love you. Send your propaganda agents around the country and make it appear that we are not fit, culturally and otherwise, for integration, but we’ll still love you. But be assured that we’ll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory." - Letter from Birmingham Jail