Larry will be taking a three-month break from American Roots Revue and solo performances to focus on his work in education through Community Celebration of Place.
Over the past twenty-five years, Larry in partnership with Community Celebration of Place has honored nearly 1,000 community elders from across the United States and the world in spoken word, song, and art through this program. Alan Lomax, one of the great American field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, once called Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, the “missing link.” That link continues to get stronger with every year.
Out of Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song has grown Young Publishers and the yearly Youth & Elders’ Circle.
The goal of these programs are to help foster a more equitable learning environment where the face of every child is represented and celebrated. This is done through bringing elders from many nations into the classroom to share their life story with students. Their spoken words are transcribed, put into song by youth, and performed at large community celebrations in their honor.
At the end of each interview, elders are asked to share words of advice with the students. Mr. Beni Persaud from Guyana, South America shared the following words of wisdom recently with youth at Sonnesyn Elementary School in Robbinsdale School District, “You must have a heart that is soft like soil, so when you plant something it will grow. If you try to plant it in a rock, you won’t get root. But if your heart is soft, if you have love, you’ll grow. No matter what you have, if you don’t have love, you’ll feel like the world is coming against you all the time. If you have love, you’ll learn how to forgive. And forgiveness is a key ingredient.” (communitycelebration.org)