Creating Music for Social Change
Local nonprofit brings music to the women’s program.
In addition to life recovery group sessions and community service obligations, all residents also participate in various enrichment activities that help build on the tools they gain in the program.
Since the opening of the women’s program early this year, residents have had several opportunities to work with volunteers in workshop settings on topics including self-defense instruction, creative writing, arts and crafts, as well as a music collaboration.
Amplify Music, a local nonprofit founded by Rebecca Kenaga, a recent JMU graduate who worked on previous music collaborations with the Gemeinschaft Home male residents, also began working with the participants in the women’s program in late spring. Amplify Music focuses on individuals in crisis, particularly those have been incarcerated, using music engagement as a mechanism for social change, and they offer services in education settings as well.
“When someone who has faced incarceration, homelessness, abuse, addiction, and trauma realizes they are capable of creating something beautiful out of themselves, they realize they are also beautiful and capable of doing many other things they might not have acknowledged before,” says Kenaga.
Throughout the summer, Kenaga and her colleagues offered weekly music sessions in which residents composed lyrics and music in structured activities to foster collaboration and discovery.
With support of several recent grants, Amplify Music also provides resources such as musical instruments, recording equipment, and even digital devices such as tablets and Chromebooks to facilitate each resident’s involvement in the creative process.
We look forward to sharing more with you about this ongoing collaboration!
For more information about Amplify Music, visit www.amplifymusicva.org.
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