Hope For the Future

if you're like me, you've been feeling a little down right now. In a toxic political climate, the hits keep coming. People get shot. So much of what we've fought for is struck down faster than anyone would have thought possible. It's incredibly disheartening.

So tonight, Beatrix and I thought the best way to combat that was to go see Songs of Hope perform in the neighborhood.

Songs of Hope has been led by out friends Jeanne and Tom since 1991. I don't know of anything like it; it brings together kids aged 10 and up from all over the world to come to Minnesota, live together for six weeks, and sing and perform together. And by "the world" I mean all over — this year there are kids from Turkey, Guatemala, France, Poland, Israel, China, Vietnam, Italy, Columbia, Jamaica (and I am sure I am missing some). The kids sing traditional American songs (heavy on the peace and justice scale because Jeanne and Tom are hippies, songs from their countries that they share with each other, and a few pop pieces. They travel throughout the state, performing in the metro area but also in outstate Minnesota, where their audiences may never have met someone from their country before. They form lifelong friendships — and the music is great too.

If you need to laugh at some adorably sweet kids, and maybe cry a little when they sing "Wavin' Flag," I highly suggest you attend one of their remaining concerts this week (and if you go on Sunday night at Boyd Park, we'll likely be there again!) I guarantee it will make you feel better.

But that's not the only thing that makes me feel like the kids of today are going to be the thing that changes this effed-up mess. Last week, Beatrix attended Girls Rock and Roll Retreat (GRRR) through She Rock She Rock, and I'm pretty sure it's the best camp choice I ever made. The girls were put in bands together, they wrote and created their own songs, they screen printed tee shirts, had bands play every day, learned self-defense, body image, and other feminist topics, and on Friday they had a showcase at O'Gara's where 10 or so bands performed awesome music that is still stuck in my head. I don't know that I have ever believed in the fierceness of my girl as much as I do now. There are 2 more weeks of showcases (this Friday and next) at O'Gara's at 3 and 6pm (Beatrix won't be performing, but the girls from that week will be, and we're hoping to attend.) Highly recommended.

(ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, UNLEASHED!)

Finally, speaking of fierce, Circus Juventas' NORDRSAGA opens Friday night. More on that later, but if you want to see amazing kids doing professional level circus, get your tickets now before the shows sell out. I promise you won't be disappointed.

The current climate may get you down. But I can't help but think there is some hope for the future.


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