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New Neighbors Music Project Workshop

5/2/14 in Randolph

The Vermont Folklife Center and Young Tradition Vermont will host a daylong New Neighbors workshop at the Langevin House on the Vermont Technical College campus in Randolph Center. The workshop is intended for educators, grades 4-12, who have a special interest in exploring the changing face of Vermont and the state’s growing diversity.

The day will begin with a screening of Mira Niagolova’s new film, “Welcome to Vermont: Four Stories of Resettled Identity,” which features vignettes of families who came to Vermont as refugees from warfare and political violence in Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Iraq. “Welcome to Vermont” offers a platform for these people to speak about the resettlement process and building new lives—and new identities—far from their families and their homeland.

The heart of the workshop is the New Neighbors Music Project, which features the music of New American communities in Vermont and a curriculum developed by music educator, Betsy Nolan. The workshop will introduce the New Neighbors Web site, designed specifically to make recordings of New American musicians easily accessible and provide background information on the musician, the music, and the musician’s cultural community. Nolan’s curriculum draws on this resource to create a structure for students to listen to new and unfamiliar musical forms while sharing music of their own that has had a shaping influence in their lives.

The workshop will also offer the opportunity for face-to-face dialogue with New American musicians and community leaders and will conclude with a live performance. The goal of the New Neighbors Project is to help young people see strength and possibility in diversity—because we live in a culturally plural state, nation, and world. To achieve this end the New Neighbors Web site and curriculum use music to create a space where students can explore and experience both our widely divergent cultures and our common humanity.

For information about the workshop agendas/faculty or to register, visit www.vermontfolklifecenter.org or call (802) 388-4964. Workshop tuition is $25. ”Certificates of Completion” will be provided for workshop participants.