We invite your interest and participation in planning and executing a sacred music walk encompassing two cemeteries in Lewisburg. We’ll be honored to have your participation in a series of activities centered on bringing this project into being with creative community involvement.
Warmly, Tricia and Jess
Proposal – Sacred Music Concerts: a Balm for Healing Old Wounds
In Lewisburg, West Virginia, many old cemeteries are within walking distance of each other. One is a Confederate burial ground made in the shape of a cross and others are African American cemeteries for formerly enslaved people. These resting places represent wounds that beg for healing for a wide spectrum of the local Lewisburg citizenry. Our group proposes that two concerts of sacred music take place consecutively at two of the cemeteries, together with ceremonies to elicit healing and reconciliation, as part of a one-day event. We suggest that a local white church give their concert at the African American resting place, and that a local African American church give a concert at the Confederate one.
Language common to both church groups will be prominent — “fellowship,” “communion,” “sacred community building” and “forgiveness”, are central to the project. We believe that church groups do work at forgiveness, sacred community building, fellowship, and communion, but only effectively within their discrete groups. This project is meant to build bridges across communities. Event planning will incorporate a community engaged approach. Creative community participation will be invited through a series of free, open to all events. Several idea generation events will be held, some with hands-on art activities, to shape the nature of the event and to engage grassroots support.
- Another foundational theme is Appalachian folkways and practices related to healing.
- Events will be held at various venues, chosen to provide safe spaces for wide-spectrum community participation.
We also propose that there will be a food sharing, representing the best of each community in need of healing. The food will be served after the first concert. After sharing food, participants will be encouraged to walk to the second site, and along the way they will be led in an ecumenical, open to the community, sound-based walking meditation.
About the artists/organizers
In October, 2022, Tricia Townes and Jess Levine envisioned this project in a class exercise for “Art and the Social/All the World’s a Stage,” an art class offered by The Alternative Art School. As well as deep ties to the Appalachian region, Tricia and Jess both have a compelling interest and strong background in leading arts-based activities that emphasize wide-spectrum community engagement.