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NOTICE: The Charter Vision project is dormant as of January 2008. This website is provided for archival purposes only.

Celebrating Community Elders

Unknown School) Originally published March 2004

ARTech Charter School [Northfield School of Arts and Technology] and Prairie Creek Community School have been hosting an Artist in Residence: Larry Long. He is part of the “Larry Long Project”, as it has come to be known. The Project is funded by a collaborative grant from the MN State Arts Board.

Larry Long worked as an artist in resident with Prairie Creek this past month and is working with ARTech now. His job is to utilize his artistic talents to create songs and presentation that honor and celebrate American heroes. He has performed his songs at many major celebrations throughout the U.S., Europe, and other countries. He has received many awards, which include; In The Spirit of Crazy Horse Award and LIN Fellowship.

In the Larry Long Project, elders were interviewed about their younger days. Larry Long then helped to compose and perform songs about their commemorable lives. The final presentation included many arts: music, dance, and painting — and many forms of technology, such as lighting, video compellations, and building — to let the town know about their elders.

The community celebration at Prairie Creek Community School was a resounding success. And what made it so? The music was well-sung, the show flowed, the audience joined in. But the real success came in the heart-felt appreciation we witnessed between a younger generation
and their elders.

What will ARTech’s community celebration look and sound like? That’s a good question according to Bob Gregory-Bjorklund, ARTech Arts Coordinator. Certainly there’ll be great music, wonderful singers and one-of-a-kind lyrics created by artist-in-residence Larry Long and ARTech students about three elders of our community. And there’ll be a strong video and photography component to support the “Tech” in ARTech. But the most important part of this celebration will be that same connection with and respect for our community and its revered elders.

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