Michigan-based musicians and writers create art from the stories of elders.

Michigan-based musicians and writers create art from the stories of elders.

TRAVERSE CITY, MI — There are some histories that never make it into the history books, and Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology is on a mission to help them be heard. In late October, Crosshatch orchestrated a gathering of community elders alongside younger regional musicians and writers. The goal: to retell the stories of little-known social and environmental issues from our region's past, and to transform them into new poems, songs and stories. On Sunday, December 9th at the Kirkbride Hall, musicians Seth Bernard, Sam Cooper and Zach Watson, and writers Jaime Delp and Amber Edmondson will be performing original pieces inspired by these stories and the elders that lived them.

The histories told covered upholding native fishing rights, opposing the Big Rock nuclear power plant, stopping waterfront development of the Bayview Mall and strengthening the international peace movement. As they were happening, many of these campaigns received poor coverage in the press, and now risk being lost to time. “We realized that we couldn’t go to Wikipedia or Google searches to get the details right,” said Sam Cooper, a musician born and raised in Traverse City, “the only place we could go is to the elders themselves.”

After hearing the stories, the artists spent four days in residency at the Neahtawanta Inn, shaping new work. The matinee performance will take place at Kirkbride Hall on Sunday, December 9th. Doors open at 3pm with a show at 3:30.

“There are two important pieces coming together in this project,” explains Brad Kik, co-founder of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology. “First, the value in hearing stories from our elders and passing them down through the generations; second, the magic that happens when we decide to support and center artists and their process. I’m excited to hear these brand new pieces coming out of our community’s history.”

Tickets are on sale now for $20 per person. The doors open at 3pm with the show start of 3:30pm. More information can be found at http://www.crosshatch.org/events/2018/12/9/long-memory-project-performance

The Long Memory Project artist residency is a partnership of Earthwork Music,Holly Wren Spaulding, Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology, and theNeahtawanta Research and Education Center, This program is supported by generous community members, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.