My 5: Dwayne Parks, Musician and Choreographer

Continue Reading Full Article →

Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) asked choreographer Dwayne Parks two questions we like to ask all our interviewees. Following are his responses.

BPGL: What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?

* Education is the vital factor, and beginning at the youngest age possible.

* Eliminate all products and companies that are not environmentally friendly….

Read Full Article

Pop Opera ECOLOGIC Competes for Funds in Pepsi Project

Continue Reading Full Article →

When I was a kindergartner in an inner city neighborhood of the Chicago Public Schools, my class was bussed downtown to see Rapunzel at one of the grand old theatres. From my nearly front-row seat, the magic of the theatre left a lasting impression on this kid from an economically challenged family.

That kind of magical experience is one Jay Nagle and Dwayne Parks would like to give to thousands of other kids in the Chicago Public Schools. Their goal is to produce free performances of Ecologic, their original musical with an environmental message, in Chicago’s Millennium Park. But their vision needs funding.

Parks and Nagle have entered the Pepsi Refresh Project contest to compete for a grant that would bring their project to life. Jay Nagle is a playwright, dance teacher, and director. His partner, Dwayne Parks, is a musician and composer. Together, they own Totally New Theatre and TKATS — Talented Kids, Adults, and TeenS — a nonprofit theatre arts organization that produces original musical performances. Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) spoke with the team to find out more about their musical and why they think their project merits your votes in Pepsi’s Planet category this month….

Read Full Article

Truth on Earth – Making Music to Change the World

Continue Reading Full Article →

In a society where many teens and young adults spend their free time in front of the television, playing video games, grabbing fast food, or hanging out with friends at the mall, the three Halpern sisters lead exceptional lives. They’re talented musicians, who together comprise the band Truth On Earth (T.O.E.).

So what else is unique about Serena (20), Kiley (19), and Tess (16)? They’re lifelong vegans, have always been home schooled, and have spent the last two years traveling the country in an RV with their parents….

And this is another way the three are different from most of their peers: Their songs aren’t about the issues many young women are thinking about — boys, flirtations, or the angst of being a teen. “We picked a musical style that had a message and meant something,” Kiley says….

Read Full Article

Folksinger Larry Long on Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song

Continue Reading Full Article →

Recently, Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) interviewed troubadour and social activist Larry Long about some of the many significant projects he’s engaged in during his adult life. He was the founder of the Mississippi River Revival, a group that worked tirelessly to clean up the river and celebrate the culture of the people who lived there. Long helped the city of Okemah, Oklahoma to “bring Woody Guthrie home” by spearheading an event that celebrated both Woody’s music and the community’s contribution to his life and work.

In this part of our conversation, we talked with Long about Community Celebration of Place, which includes Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song (EWCS). Long is the founder and executive director. We asked him to begin by describing the program, which has been implemented in schools across the U.S. and in several countries around the world….

LONG: Community Celebration of Place works with communities to use music, performance, art, and oral history to bring together children and elders, and people of different backgrounds — economic, faith, racial, and cultural — to honor and celebrate our commonalities and differences through a program entitled Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song….

A student shakes the hand of one of the honored elders at his school. Photo: Courtesy Larry Long

Through Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, stories of different cultures emerge. This helps create an understanding of others and the possibility of more civil engagement and the ability to work with one another….

Read Full Article

Larry Long on Bringing Woody Guthrie Home

February 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Community, Events, Front Page, Musicians, Oklahoma

Continue Reading Full Article →

Through activism and song, Larry Long has fought for social justice and environmental preservation his entire adult life. He has also spent his life focusing on the culture and history of the people and places he sings about.

Part one of our conversation with Larry Long discussed his work with the Mississippi River Revival. Today, we look at how he brought long-overdue honor to fellow folksinger Woody Guthrie, in Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma. Guthrie is best known for his folksong, “This Land Is Your Land.”

Guthrie was also known for associating with Communists, and though he never joined the Communist Party, his liberal political leanings did not always make him welcome in his hometown. In fact two water towers stand in Okemah, advertising both Hot and Cold attitudes toward being the birthplace of Woody Guthrie.

Two decades after Guthrie’s death — thanks largely to Long’s important community work — the people of Okemah finally welcomed Woody Guthrie home.

This is part two of a three-part conversation with Larry Long, whom writer Studs Terkel once called, “a true American troubadour.” You can listen to some of Larry Long’s music on his website.

Read Full Article

A Conversation with Larry Long, Lifelong Activist and Folksinger

Continue Reading Full Article →

Smithsonian Folkways recording artist Larry Long has been an activist for decades. At various times he has used his musical talents to help organize citizens in protest and in celebration. Throughout his long career, he says he has, “employed art and oral history for the benefit of reconciliation and building community.”

Among Long’s many successful projects was the creation of the Mississippi River Revival. He is a longtime friend of famed folksinger Pete Seeger, whose acclaimed Great Hudson River Revival has been instrumental in cleaning up the Hudson River, and who has mentored Long over the years. Today, Larry Long serves as executive director for a nonprofit called Community Celebration of Place….

Read Full Article

What Kind of World Do You Want?

Continue Reading Full Article →

This week, as we say goodbye to 2009 and greet 2010, Blue Planet Green Living asks you the question posed by Five For Fighting in their song of the same name, “What Kind of World Do You Want?” Singer John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting invites all of us to create a video response to […]

Read Full Article