A Time Like This: Music for Change
It was a time of turmoil. It was a time of change. A nation looked inward, reevaluating what it was and what it hoped to be. In the 1960s, young people started movements focused on equal rights, economic empowerment, peace, and their own place in the world. Music festivals created spaces for communities to engage in dialogue about creating a more peaceful and just world, and music became an essential force in bringing people together to advocate for change. The cultural and social growth of the ’60s informs nearly every aspect of our lives, and young people continue their interest in today’s critical dialogues about our society. How can a new generation draw strength from what came before? How do young people leverage the stage to gather and share a dialogue for a more peaceful and just world? What did music sound like then, and what does music sound like in a time like this?
A creative learning project for young people across NYC, A Time Like This: Music for Change was part of Carnegie Hall’s festival The ’60s: The Years that Changed America. Participants in WMI’s wide range of education and social impact programs had the opportunity to share their stories and write new songs through programs based in all five boroughs of New York City. The project culminated in a dynamic event in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on March 11, 2018, that was emceed by Def Poetry Jam’s Lemon Andersen and featured young performers sharing the stage with some of the most celebrated artists of our time, including Rhiannon Giddens, Toshi Reagon, Young Paris, Carrie Compere (The Color Purple), and Ro James. The program included songs from the ’60s that anchored, encouraged, and inspired the songs created for the program.