Developing the Chorus for Change

Philadelphia Folklore Project

2013
$75,000

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Liberian Women's Chorus for Change: Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete, and Tokay Tomah, 2013. Photo by Anna Mulé, courtesy of the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

The Philadelphia Folklore Project will work closely with local Liberian artists to develop "pop-up" public performances that interpret the Liberian immigrant experience through music and song. The city is home to some 35,000 Liberians, including many immigrants who have experienced war, loss, and displacement in recent years; the pop-up performances will take place in identified areas where Liberians live and gather, including shopping centers, cab stands, and churches. The Chorus for Change project will give talented women in this community the agency and wherewithal to openly discuss these histories with their fellow Liberians, as well as related issues of domestic and gender violence, through forms in which they have fluency, bringing tradition to the forefront in an unexpected way. Liberian women will drive the project in a concentrated effort to forge dialogue between genders and generations about violence in Liberian history, and to encourage others to share their own stories, with the potential to inspire meaningful social change.